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Barbara College ILiliraro 










Possibilities of making new opportunities 
for employment through the settlement and 
development of agricultural and forest lands 

and other resources 


Benton MacKaye 









Possibilities of making new opportunities 
for employment through the settlement and 
development of agricultural and forest lands 

and other resources 


Benton MacKaye 




E"' c;.. ^-11 ^- 3 5" 

Harvard College Library 
Oct. Q, 101Q. 


United States Government, 

\^j - , 5n *i . ^ h l.<xO»-_ 



Department of Labor, 
Office of the Secretary, 
fi Washington, D. (7., June 1^ 1919. 

This report on " Employment and Natural Resources " is the result 
in part of a general investigation of land as an opportunity for 
workers, which, in accordance with general instructions from the 
Secretary of Labor, was begun in the autumn of 1915. The object 
of the investigation has been to disclose the possibilities in the United 
States of securing permanent and profitable employment, for our 
returned soldiers and other workers, in the settlement and community 
development of our unused areas and of the various resources — soils, 
forests, ores, and waters — contained in such areas. 

This publication, aside from its introduction to the general sub- 
ject of utilizing resources for the purposes of labor, is limited to the 
consideration of agricultural and of forest lands.' The study shows 
that the efficient development of the unused, or the improperly used, 
lands of these two classes presents an opportunity in this country for 
reducing at once both unemployment and the cost of living/ This 
requires, however, that development be conducted in accordance with 
certain basic principles. One of these consists in public control suf- 
ficient to eliminate everything resembling — even remotely — the specu- 
lation in, or private appropriation of, natural or community-made 
values. Another is the utilization of increased efficiency, wherever 
possible, to reduce labor time, and thus enlarge the opportunity for 

A portion of the study required for the preparation of this report 
was made by the author, Mr. Benton MacKaye, while he was still a 
member of the Forest Service (United States Department of Agri- 
culture) . Part of the field investigation and the preparation of the 
original draft, together with the accompanying maps and figures, 
were made at the expense of that organization. To a very large ex- 
tent, therefore, the present report has been made possible through 
the courtesy and assistance of the Forest Service, and the Depart- 
ment of Labor is desirous of recognizing its obligations in this re- 
gard. The department heartily appreciates also the valuable sug- 
gestions and helpful cooperation, in connection with this work, which 
have come from members of the Office of Farm Management (De- 



partment of Agriculture) and of the Reclamation Service (Depart- 
ment of the Interior) . 

There is also being published by the Department of Labor at this 
time, as part of the general investigation referred to, a report by Mr. 
Leifur Magnusson, on the " Disposition of the Public Lands of the 
United States with Particular Reference to Wage-Earning Labor." 
This has been prepared for the purpose of giving, in condensed form, 
some historical background of our public land policy, and thus to 
aid in a better understanding of the problem of remodeling this 
policy with reference .to the interests of the wage earners of the 
United States. 

W. B. Wilson, 

/Secretary of Labor. 



Introductory 9 

"Opportunity for employment " 10 

Opportunity, not work, should be increased 10 

The primary sources of employment l 11 

Effect of development on cost of living 12 

To provide alternative employment 14 

Summary and Conclusions (outline of Department's land policy), 17 

Development of agricultural lands 17 

Need of colonization 17 

Land tenure dependent on use : 18 

Specific test for profitable agricultural land 19 

Lessons from Canada 19 

Farm colony and city market 21 

Development of forest lands 21 

The problem of "The lumberjack" 21 

Forest community versus logging camp 22 

pevelopment of coal lands 24 

The Alaskan coal-leasing law, 1914 25 

Methods of handling coal lands on the western public domain 26 

Possibilities in colonizing Alaska 27 

Development of water resources 1 27 

Features of needed legislation 28 

A national board authorized to cooperate with States 28 

Land and taxation 29 

Finances 30 

Powers and duties 31 

A public "construction service " 31 

The immediate program — to link farm colony and city market 32 

Chapter I. General view of land utilization in the United States 35 

Section 1. Original condition of land surface 35 

Section 2. Transition from original condition to present land utilization. . 37 

(a) The public domain 37 

(b) The frontier of population 44 

(c) Migration of the lumber industry 48 

Section 3. Present land utilization 49 

Section 4. Potential land utilization 55 

Section 5. Probable future changes in land utilization 58 

(a) Farm land 58 

(b) Forest land 59 

Chapter II. Required principles of land utilization 61 

Section 6. Definition of land (to include soils, forests, ores, waters) 61 

Section 7. The * ' highest use " of land 63 

Section 8. Principles applying to the use of agricultural soil 65 

(a) Community cooperation 66 

(b) Reclamation 67 



Chapter II — Continued. 

Section 8 — Continued. Page. 

(c) The "ready-made farm" 71 

(d) Credit 72 

(e) Individual farm areas 74 

(f) Land tenure 75 

Section 9. Principles applying to the use of forest growth 77 

(a) Timber culture versus "timber mining" 77 

(b) Permanent forest employment 80 

(c) Stability of the forest community 82 

Section 10. Payment for the use of natural resources 84 

(a) Agricultural soil 84 

(b) Other natural resources 91 

Section 11. Some current fallacies 93 

(a) With regard to cheap land 93 

(b) With regard to cheap money, cheap powder, and public improve- 

ments 95 

Chapter III. Methods op farm-land utilization 101 

Section 12. Farm colony and city market 102 

(a) The motor transport postal service 103 

(b) Road building and farm building 104 

(c) Possibilities of a public "construction service " .* 104 

(d) The "garden city" 106 

Section 13. The Australian system of land settlement 107 

(a) Main features 107 

(b) First application in America — California, 1917 109 

Section 14. The first soldier colony — Kapuskasing, Ontario 112 

(a) The "soldier settlement scheme " 112 

(b) Colony located in Clay Belt 113 

Section 15. Lessons from Canadian experience 115 

(a) Land classification 115 

(b) Town planning 116 

(c) Expropriation of land 121 

(d) Need of a permanent pulp industry 122 

Chapter IV. Methods op porebt-land utilization 125 

Section 16. Possible forest settlement in the Eastern States 126 

Section 17. Possible forest settlement on the North Pacific coast 129 

(a) Possibilities of Government initiative in developing national forests 130 

(b) The Cascade-Puget Sound area 132 

(c) Division of forest land into "working units " 134 

(d) Working units and national forests 135 

(e) The Darrington working unit 136 

(f) A survey and plan for each working unit 138 

(g) Development of the working unit illustrated in the Darrington 

project 140 

(h) Agricultural settlement within the forest working unit 142 


1. Disposition of land once in the publie domain (June 30, 1918) 43 

2. Disposition of land in the Mountain and Pacific States (June 30, 1918), 44 

3. Area of the United States by present land classes and geographic divisions. . 51 

4. Area of the United States by potential land classes and geographic divisions. 55 



5. Increase in rental and decrease in wages accompanying the appropriation of 

free farm land * Page. 

6. Area, capital invested, and income per farm (average of 801 farms in the 87 

Northern Lake States) 88 

7. Farms classified on basis of labor income (average of 801 farms in the North- 

ern Lake States) 89 


1. Chief physical features (of the United States) 36 

2. Territorial growth of the United States 39 

3. The national forests 41 

4. Migration of the frontier of population, 1790 to 1880 45 

5. Density of rural population, 1910 47 

6. Present land utilization (in the United States) 60 

7. Geographic divisions (of the United States) 53 

8. Durham land-settlement project, California 110 

9. The Cascade-Puget Sound area 134 

10. Division into forest " working units" 136 

11. Working units and national forest land 138 

12. Some features of land ownership 140 

13. Division of Darrington unit into " cutting blocks" 142 

14. A possible settlement district in Darrington Valley .' 144 

15. Land ownership within Darrington settlement district 144 


1 . A township 40 

2. Lumber cut, by groups of States, in per cent of total, 1850 to 1914 49 

3. Results of timber culture 80 

4. Results of "timber mining" 80 

5. A Canadian plan for laying out a township 118 

6. Another Canadian plan for laying out a township 119 





The Secretary of Labor in 1915, in his annaul report for that year, 
announced a new policy with regard to the big problem of employ- 
ment. The first step toward a solution of this problem had been 
inaugurated — that of organizing the United States Employment 
Service for bringing together jobs and men. The second step was 
then suggested — that of " making new opportunities for employment." 
The Secretary's first words on this new subject are the following: 1 

It will not be enough to hunt " manless jobs " for " jobless men." Any effi- 
cient public-employment service of a national character must go beyond that. 
* * * In my opinion, therefore, the labor-distribution work of this depart- 
ment should extend to some such development of the natural resources of this 
country as will tend to make opportunities for workers greater than demands 
for work. 

The policy here suggested was discussed by the Secretary at some 
length, and steps were taken to investigate the possibilities of devel- 
oping the natural resources for the purpose recommended. Follow- 
ing this announcement of policy, a bill was introduced in the House 
of Representatives by Hon. Robert Grosser, of Ohio, in February, 
1916, for the purpose of carrying out the Secretary's ideas. This 
was the so-called " national colonization bill," 2 on which public hear- 
ings were held, during the first and second sessions of the Sixty- 
fourth Congress, before the House Committee on Labor. The Sec- 
retary of Labor appeared before this committee and indorsed the 
measure in principle. 

The Secretary has developed his policy in his subsequent annual 
reports. With the entrance of the United States into the European 
War the prospective locating of the returning soldier became the 
uppermost question in this field, and the reports for 1917 and 1918 
emphasize this particular problem. The latter report goes into the 
subject in some detail and urges upon Congress the need of imme- 
diate and thoroughgoing action. To carry out these recommenda- 
tions measures 8 were introduced in the House of Representatives 

1 Third Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor (1915), pp. 41-42. 

■ H. B. 11329, 64th Cong., 1st sess. 

•H. B. 13415, introduced Dec. 17, 1918; H. R. 15672, introduced Feb. 5, 1919. 



by Hon. M. Clyde Kelly, of Pennsylvania, in the last session of the 
Sixty-fifth Congress. This proposed legislation was indorsed in prin- 
ciple by the Department of Labor at a public hearing before the 
House Committee /on Labor, but no action on soldier employment 
was taken by that Congress. 


For the benefit of the 4,500,000 men who went from this country 
into the recent war, and of the other millions in industry who were 
dislocated in their occupations by the war's activities, it is necessary 
to have a very clean-cut meaning for the expression, " opportunity 
for employment" The men and women who have been thus dislo- 
cated have the right to demand that they be relocated. Opportunity 
for employment, therefore, as used herein, means a definite reloca- 
tion in industry. It means something decidedly more than the mere 
"handout" of a temporary job on public works or on private de- 
velopment enterprises. It means the opportunity of making a per- 
manent living, of establishing a family, and of developing a career 
in some steady occupation. 

Immediate employment of a temporary nature, on road construc- 
tion or similar activity, would amount to a real opportunity, pro- 
vided it be made to lead directly to some form of permanent occupa- 
tion, such as a home upon the land. A transition of this sort may 
well be effected through the proposal which has been made of follow- 
ing road building with farm building in colony units. An emergency 
job, however, handed to a man as a stop-gap from starvation, and 
without future prospects, is a species of charity only one stage better 
than a gift of cash to purchase a meal. 

Employment, moreover, as understood herein, must be not only 
permanent but profitable (i. e., profitable to the worker). This is 
required in order to be in keeping with the department's organic act 
which states that the "purpose of the Department of Labor shall be 
to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners 
of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to 
advance their opportunities for profitable employment." 


To advance the opportunities for profitable employment by no 
means requires that labor itself should be increased. On the con- 
trary, these opportunities depend largely upon decreasing the labor 
necessary in getting something done. They depend largely upon the 
increase of efficiency and the saving of labor. Increased efficiency, 
through improved machinery or otherwise, can be used, if so desired, 
to reduce labor time without reducing wages. 


This policy could well be applied in carrying on public works. 
This would result in distributing the work which is available among 
a greater number of workers, thus lightening the labor effort for 
each one and making more jobs for those unemployed. And so long 
as unemployment continues, increase of efficiency should be made, 
as far as practicable, to reduce the working day and absorb the 
labor surplus. The opportunities for work, therefore, not the work 
itself, should be increased. 


" Land," in its broad sense, is the ultimate source of all employ- 
ment. Land in this sense includes much more than agricultural soil. 
The latter, to be sure, is one of the major resources. But it is only 
one. In addition to the soils we have the forests, the ores, and the 
waters. These are sometimes referred to as the " big four " natural 
resources ; they constitute " land " in the comprehensive meaning as 
used in this report. 

The immediate use of these resources constitutes the extractive or 
primary industries (agriculture, forestry, mining), which are the 
basis of manufacturing and the other secondary industries. The lat- 
ter can not long develop ahead of the former. The creamery is de- 
pendent on the dairy farm, not the dairy farm on the creamery; the 
abattoir is likewise dependent on the range; the sawmill on the 
logging operation ; and the smelter on the iron mine. When, as at 
present with the lumber industry, the manufacturing operation de- 
velops ahead of the extraction operation (sawmilling develops ahead 
of logging), then overproduction is stimulated and industrial proc- 
esses become dislocated. This makes for waste of material and un- 
certainty of employment, as well as financial failure. New oppor- 
tunities for employment, therefore, should be sought as far as pos- 
sible in the primary rather than in the secondary industries — in the 
initial development of the land and the land's resources. 

This initial development requires two lines of preliminary work — 
mechanical construction and economic organization. These vary for 
the different resources. 

The first step in developing the agricultural resource — the farm 
lands of the country — should be to connect these lands with the city 
markets. The most efficient way of doing this, in perhaps the ma- 
jority of cases, is by means of a system of good concrete roads on 
which a motor truck service can be established. 

Following road building should come farm building. This re- 
quires leveling land, fertilization, erection of buildings, and the 
installation of improvements. In some parts of the country it also 
requires reclamation of various kinds. Farm building, under mod- 


era methods, is conducted on the basis of the community unit, not 
the isolated-farm unit. Each community should be organized for 
doing cooperative business. 

The forest industry requires the building of logging railroads, 
the improvement of drivable streams, the erection of sawmills and 
other plants. In order that this industry may provide permanent 
and profitable employment it must be organized upon a stabilized 
basis and run under the methods of forestry and timber culture, 
and not, as at present, under those of ordinary lumbering and 
" timber mining." Upon this basis the permanent forest community 
can replace the temporary lumber camp and the worker with a family 
replace the hobo with a blanket. The opportunity for thus reorganiz- 
ing this industry is present in the 135 million acres of national 
forests in the various timbered parts of the country. 

Coal and other minerals occur extensively in several fields on the 
United States public domain, both in the Western States and in the 
Territory of Alaska. These fields offer the opportunity for reor- 
ganizing the mining industry upon a better basis. Under proper 
Government control operations could be conducted on the public 
lands tending to set a standard of profitable employment and suit- 
able living conditions for the industry in all regions. The mining 
community, organized perhaps in connection with an agricultural 
unit, could replace the typical " mining camp." 

The effective control and utilization of the water in our rivers and 
streams will require eventually a vast amount of construction — 
reservoirs, river works, power plants, transmission lines, etc. There 
are four main uses for these water resources — sanitation, irrigation, 
navigation, power. The potential utility for these several purposes 
of the country's stream flow has been thus far only meagerly de- 
veloped. Much of this flow runs to waste each year in destructive 
floods. The storage and use of this surplus water, under proper 
public direction, would be of untold public benefit ; it would provide 
many opportunities for profitable employment and would result 
ultimately in vast saving of human labor. 


One of the biggest facts in our economic life is the rise in the cost 
of living. This has been specially evident since the beginning of 
the European war. Wages, to be sure, have been rising as well as 
prices, but not nearly in proportion thereto. The real wages of the 
American working man — the relation of paid wages to cost of liv- 
ing — have been rapidly falling. 

This fact is shown strikingly by the figures of the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics. These figures show that real wages, based on cost of food, 


have fallen nearly one-third during the past 12 years. Where the 
average worker earned one dollar in 1907 he earns to-day the equiva- 
lent not of one dollar but of 69 cents. That is to say, where a man 
earned a dollar's worth of food in 1907, he can to-day earn only 
69 cents' worth. These figures in dollars and cents show a growing 
tendency toward lower living standards for labor. Each time, there- 
fore, that a period of unemployment occurs the situation is just so 
much worse than it was the time before. 

There has also been a decline in the per capita production of food 
supplies ; and along with it a reduction in the country's proportionate 
rural population — from 59.5 per cent in 1900 to 53.7 per cent in 1910. 
At the same time about half the farm land in the country is still 
unimproved. The shifting of labor from agricultural to urban in- 
dustries, and the associated falling off in food production, would 
seem, therefore, to constitute important reasons for the prevailing 
high cost of living. 

This point is emphasized by many writers and the plea made that 
means should be taken to get more people to go " back to the land." 
Their analysis of the problem is briefly as follows : 

The high cost of living in the country and the condition of poverty 
are caused, among other things, by an undue scarcity of agricultural 
products on the one hand, and by a congestion of labor in nonagricul- 
tural industries on the other. With this condition goes a large area 
of idle land. If, therefore, workers can be transferred from the fac- 
tories and urban industries to these idle lands, then labor congestion 
generally will be relieved and the food supply reinforced. This 
would create new opportunities for the people actually going upon 
the land; it would tend also to raise wages for producers generally 
and to lower prices to consumers. In this way poverty and the cost 
of living would be reduced. 

The idea here expressed' is an appealing one. But it must not be 
forgotten that true access to land is achieved only through ihdustrial 
processes. Industry, indeed, is the " pipe line " from land to men. 
Through it comes the material for their welfare — food, clothing, and 
shelter. Any obstruction in this pipe line is an obstruction to men's 
access to the sources of life. Any clogging of any kind in the man- 
agement of industry — through duplication, tolls for unnecessary 
" services," or undue friction on wheels or on men — results in increas- 
ing the struggle for existence. 

The man who actually goes upon the land has not necessarily any 
greater access to the products of the land than he had before. A 
high-salaried clerk in a metropolis " skyscraper " has certainly much 
more access to the fruits of the land than many farmers ; and " tene- 
ment conditions " exist in the open country as well as in the city slum. 


Eeal access to land is through industry and there is no shorter cut. 
The only way to improve this access is to improve industry. Mere 
living in the country will not make a living. In any project, then, 
for developing natural resources to reduce living costs, or to pro- 
vide profitable employment, all unnecessary industrial obstructions, 
whether physical or financial, must be weeded out. 


Unemployment, as characterized by the report of the Commission 
on Industrial Relations, is not a matter of degree but. is " an absolute 
actuality from which there is no relief but soul-killing crime and soul- 
killing charity." The report then proceeds to analyze the situation 
concisely as follows: 1 

A careful analysis of all available statistics shows that in our great basic 
Industries the workers are unemployed for an average of at least one-fifth of the 
year, and that at all times during any normal year there Is an army of men, 
who can be numbered only by hundreds of thousands, who are unable to find 
work or who have so far degenerated that they can not or will not work. Can 
any nation boast of industrial efficiency when the workers, the source of her 
productive wealth, are employed to so small a fraction of their total capacity? 

Fundamentally this unemployment seems to rise from two great causes, 
although many others are contributory. First, the inequality of the distribu- 
tion of income, which leaves the great masses of the population (the true ulti- 
mate consumers) unable to purchase the products of industry which they cre- 
ate. * * * 

The second principal cause lies in the denial of access to land and natural 
resources even when they are unused and unproductive, except at a price and 
under conditions which are practically prohibitive. 

The recommendation of the commission regarding this problem 
comprises the two lines of action recommended by the Department of 
Labor. These are: (1) To perfect a system of placing together the 
idle man and the idle job; and (2) to create new employment. On 
the latter point the commission report suggests the creation of a 
special board in the Federal Government, together with similar 
boards in the various States and municipalities, to devise programs 
for performing public work of construction and land development, 
including road building and reclamation. From numerous sources 
in recent years the suggestion has come that some public agency is 
needed to carry on public works during periods of industrial de- 

But if during normal years our workers are unemployed on the 
average " at least one-fifth of the year," then there is even in normal 
times a degree of industrial depression. In other words, our workers 
do not obtain from our industries 100 per cent opportunity for 
employment; they obtain only 80 per cent opportunity. And for 

1 Final Report of the Commission on Industrial Relations (1915), p. 34. 


the time they are employed the "real wages," as above shown, have 
been steadily declining. In many of the industries, moreover, labor 
conditions are notoriously bad. In the long run, therefore, the em- 
ployment provided by ordinary industry is insufficient in amount and 
unsatisfactory in kind. 

In addition, then, to the offer of employment held out to American 
workers by the regular industries an alternative offer could at all 
times be available, the employment being made to expand or contract 
according as the industrial " depression " were greater or less. Em- 
ployment of this kind, in order to be a real alternative, would, of 
course, have to be conducted under entirely different auspices from 
that offered by ordinary industry. It would need to be administered 
by the public itself through Government agency — Federal, State, or 
municipal. The work would have to carry out a true public need 
and have to be carried on in accordance with the highest standards 
of labor. 

" Some such development of the natural resources of this country 
as will tend to make opportunities for workers greater than demands 
for work " — this is the suggestion of the Secretary of Labor, made in 
1915, for making new opportunities for employment. By making 
more jobs than men we relieve the pressure of men on jobs. This 
could be done by offering alternative employment in a comprehen- 
sive construction program for developing, without industrial ob- 
structions, the country's natural resources. This program would be 
carried out, under legislation which has been proposed in Congress, 
through a public " construction service " in which suitable standards 
of labor would be maintained. By no one single stroke, perhaps, 
could more be done to stimulate wholesome labor standards in Ameri- 
can industry, or to reduce living costs, than by an extensive and 
effective application of such a policy. 



The recommendations of the Secretary of Labor, in his last annual 
report (1918), regarding new opportunities for employment, consti- 
tute a definite policy for utilizing land for the benefit of labor. As 
already stated, legislation for carrying out this policy was intro- 
duced in the Sixty-fifth Congress. The program thus worked out 
aims at the fullest possible opportunity to secure alternative employ- 
ment. It comprises the development of agricultural, forest, mineral, 
and water resources. 


One-fourth of the area of the United States (478 million acres) is 
improved agricultural land; another fourth of the country (475 
million acres) is, according to estimates, capable of being improved 
for farming purposes. More than one-fourth of the country's area 
(510 million acres) consists of grazing land; the remainder consists 
for the most part of permanent forest land. Of the 475 million acres 
still to be developed for farming purposes, over 80 per cent occurs 
within present farm boundaries — chiefly in the settled portions of 
the Central States and elsewhere in the eastern half of the country. 
The remainder (85 million acres) consists of reclaimable waste lands 
outside of present farm bounds. Only a small portion of profitable 
farm land remains on the public domain. 

Agricultural land on the western public domain formed, perhaps, 
the main opportunity for alternative employment and a new career 
to the average worker 50 years ago. This land was taken up for 
the most part through the homestead law of 1862. Under the terms 
of this law the settler could get from the Government, in fee simple 
and without charge, a total of 160 acres of land on condition of 
maintaining a residence thereon for a term of years and making 
certain improvements. 

Need of colonization. 

One grave objection to the homestead law was (and is) the prin- 
ciple upon which it was based, namely, that raw land without im- 
provements is all the settler needs wherewith to make for himself a 
farm and a home. In the fertile portions of the open prairie re- 
quiring little or no reclamation, and in favorable spots elsewhere, 
the settler who was hardened to the pioneer life was, to be sure, 

118860°— -19 2 17 


often able to equip himself for farming through his single-handed 
methods. But he was always under the heavy handicap that comes 
from the lack of cooperative effort, and his less fortunate or less 
robust comrade was unable to keep up. Nor did the aid through 
irrigation provided for in the reclamation act of 1902, or the gen- 
eral processes of reclamation as practiced — whether on the arid, 
swamp, or cut-over lands — do as much as was generally expected to 
improve the pioneer's condition. This was because the processes 
were not carried far enough. It is not enough merely to provide 
desert land with needed water or to drain swamp land of surplus 
water. Experience in the Australian countries, under conditions 
closely resembling those in this country, points to the need of sup- 
plementing irrigation, drainage, or stump clearing by the processes 
of leveling and breaking the land and equipping fully the farms 
for use. 

The Australian system of land settlement is based upon the prin- 
ciple that the agricultural worker deserves an even chance with the 
manufacturing worker, and so the farm as well as the factory should 
be equipped before, and not after, operations begin. Agriculture 
under this system is handled through the community unit as against 
the isolated farm unit. Not only is each farm prepared for use 
through initial cultivation of the soil and the erection of farm build- 
ings but the community itself is organized for cooperative action in 
marketing produce, purchasing supplies, obtaining credit, and in pro- 
viding for social as well as economic needs; Hence a portion of land 
is usually reserved at the center of each community for the location of 
cooperative warehouses, stores, and banks, as well as for schools and 
churches. At or near this center a demonstration farm may be estab- 
lished on which pure-bred cattle and other stock are raised and sold at 
cost to settlers ; and this farm may be used also as a training school 
for incoming settlers. The opinion is growing, both in that country 
and in all the British countries, that the individualist type of land 
settlement, as practiced in " homesteading," should be supplanted by 
the colonization or community type which has been practised so suc- 
cessfully in Australia ; and the British plans for after-the-war settle- 
ment are based largely upon this colonization principle. 

Land tenure dependent on use. 

Another vital defect in our homestead law, as passed by Congress, 
is that no provision is made that the tenure of land shall be based 
upon use. By giving away land in absolute fee simple title, minus 
* ny restriction, nothing exists either in the letter or the spirit of the 
law to prevent the settler from parting with his title the same day he 
receives it. In this way a right to use land becomes a right also to 
barter land. By providing thus for the divorcement of private owner 


and user the road is opened wide to tenancy. So obvious is this fact 
that we should not have waited, as we have done, for bitter experience 
to confirm it. Again we should take a lesson from the Australians 
and adopt their methods of making private tenure dependent upon 
use. This principle is emphasized by the Secretary of Labor in his 
latest annual report. 

Specific test for profitable agricultural land. 

Another important consideration practically unprovided for in the 
homestead law is that of land classification and the selection of lands 
suitable for profitable agriculture. On this point the Secretary of 
Labor says : * 

It goes without saying that no colony should be established on land which 
can not be profitably farmed. The specific test for such land is the estimated 
yearly compensation to be obtained by the settler for his own use as a result 
of his labor. This compensation amounts to the difference between the gross 
money return and all fixed expenses. The latter include interest and amor- 
tization charges for reclamation and improvements, payment for taxes and 
the use of land, and general running costs. If the compensation over and 
above these expenses amounts at least to a fair wage, then the labor of farm- 
ing the land amounts to profitable employment. Otherwise it does not. 

With lands found by this test to be profitable for farming the 
costs of reclamation and equipment (following the practice of other 
countries), should be charged against each farm allotment and be 
paid off, at low interest rates, over a long term of years on the 
amortization plan. Any loans made to the settler should also be 
handled by this plan. The yearly charge for the use of land (to 
include taxes and everything under the head of "rental") should 
then be kept low enough so as to allow the settler, out of gross re- 
ceipts, the " compensation " referred to in the above statement. 

To hold the rental down to this basis requires that ultimate abso- 
lute tenure be retained in public hands. With the ultimate title in 
private hands the land values made by Government reclamation, 
State loans, etc., go to the farmer, not as the land user but as the land 

Land found by the above test, suggested by the Secretary, to be 
unprofitable for farming should be used for growing timber, if pos- 
sible, or for some other useful purpose. 

Lessons from Canada. 

The Australian system of community settlement forms the basis 
very largely for the reconstruction plans of the British Empire. 
Canada has already made a start in community settlement by the 
establishment in 1917 of the returned soldier colony at Kapuskasing 
in the Clay Belt of northern Ontario. The Australian system was 

1 Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor (1018), p. 144. 


introduced the same year into our own country by the State of Cali- 
fornia in the establishment of the Durham colony in the Sacramento 

Land classification is one of the fundamental lessons which Canada 
has to teach. The Province of New Brunswick has made an excellent 
start in this line. All of the Crown lands in this Province are being 
covered systematically by a soil survey showing clearly the relative 
fertility of the various areas. Fertility is of course only one factor 
in locating profitable farm land — the other main factor being market 
conditions. By following up the soil survey by the market survey 
the test given by the Secretary for determining true agricultural 
land could be applied. 

Town planning is another matter in which Canada has made a 
good- start. Pioneer work in this regard has been done by Mr. 
Thomas Adams, town planning adviser to the Commission of Con- 
servation at Ottawa. He has worked with the large city, the small 
town, and the agricultural community. His plans for laying out 
townships save from one-quarter to one-third the road mileage by 
having the roads radiate from a community center instead of being 
laid out in the customary way along the section lines. These plans 
also provide for segregating forest lands and for dividing the agri- 
cultural lands into farm allotments of efficient areas for family 
use. The farm areas will vary, of course, in accordance with the 
fertility of the soil. Town planning should be based upon an ade- 
quate land classification, but the two lines of work do not in fact 
always go together in Canadian practice any more than in our own. 

Expropriation of land, as a means of obtaining areas for the set- 
tlement of returned soldiers, is a measure which is likely to be adopt- 
ed by a number of the Canadian Provinces. The same mistake was 
made in Canada regarding the use of the Crown lands as was made 
in this country with our public lands. In each case the " homestead- 
ing" method was used and an absolute fee simple title to 160 acres 
was granted to each settler. In both countries, also, much land has 
been disposed of by railroad and other grants. To-day the results 
of this shortsighted policy are showing up. Now that the Canadian 
Government wants lands for the returned soldiers, the lands are not 
to be had. Areas of the kind and amount needed have gone into 
private hands. 

The Dominion Government, therefore, is now encouraging the sev- 
eral provincial governments to pass measures for expropriating idle 
land through the instrument of taxation. The plan is to allow the 
private owner to assess his own land ; the Province then to tax such, 
land on the basis of the assessment or else buy it at or near the value 
set. If the full duty of our own Government toward the returned 


soldiers and other workers is carried out, the United States may have 
to follow Canada in this expropriation policy. 

Farm colony and city market. 

Before the farm colony is actually organized and established it 
should be carefully located with reference to the city market. For 
dairy and other products that can be sent in small containers the 
motor truck is a more efficient transporter than the railway or water- 
way, and through a system of marketing facilities already inaugu- 
rated by the Post Office Department the postal motor route bids fair 
to make farm producer and city consumer directly accessible to each 
other. In view, then, of the big future possibilities of the motor 
transport postal service the farm colony should usually be located 
on the post road. 


The permanent forest area of the United States is estimated to be 
450 million acres, or nearly one-fourth the total area. Of this acre- 
age 150 millions are contained in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific 
States, 90 millions are estimated as permanent farm woodlots in the 
Eastern States, and the remainder (210 millions) occurs throughout 
the mountainous and lesser settled portions of the Northeast and the 
Southern States, and of the Great Lakes region. About one-half of 
the far western forest lands are owned by the Government in national 
forests, and most of this land supports a virgin timber growth. The 
eastern forests have been cut over and very largely depleted, and are 
almost all in private ownership. 

The problem of H the lumberjack." 

" No one who has the interest of America at heart," says the Seo- 
retary of Labor in his latest annual report, 1 " can look forward with 
tolerance to the growth or continuance of a body of migratory 
workers who in the nature of the case must have * * * a hatred 
for the law which they have never known except in its repressive 

The " migratory workers " here referred to are the " lumberjacks " 
or "timber wolves" of the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The 
conditions surrounding these men have received national attention 
during the past two years on account of the strategic industrial im- 
portance of lumber operations in the conduct of the war. These 
conditions were made the subject, in part, of investigations con- 
ducted in 1917 by the President's Mediation Commission, of which 
the Secretary of Labor was chairman. This investigation showed 
tliat about 90 per cent of the lumberjacks were unmarried and that 

1 Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor (1918), pp. 221-222. 


the annual labor turnover in the lumber camps was over 600 per cent. 
" There has been a failure to make of these, camps communities* It 
is not to be wondered, then, that in too many of these workers the 
instinct for workmanship is impaired. They are — or, rather, have 
been made— disintegrating forces in society." * 

The reason why the lumber workers are migratory is because the 
lumber industry is migratory. Forest trees have been treated not 
as wood plants to be grown and cultivated, but as wood deposits to 
be exploited. Just as we are exhausting our mineral deposits beneath 
the surface, so we are exhausting our timber " deposits " above the 
surface. We are practicing not timber culture but " timber mining." 

The ill effects of such a system upon the consuming public and 
the country at large have long been dwelt upon. But the inevitable 
effects upon the worker involved have hardly been mentioned. The 
lumber industry as now conducted being essentially migratory, em- 
ployment therein is essentially unstable. The lumberjack must live 
in a camp and the man with a family is excluded as a worker. "Tim- 
ber mining," being itself a tramp industry, is a breeder of tramps ; 
it is an industry of homeless men. 

Forest community versus logging camp. 

In order that the forest industry may be put upon a basis in which 
the wandering "hobo" woods worker may be supplanted by the 
family man it will be necessary in each case that a continuous yield 
of timber be forthcoming yearly from an area small enough to permit 
of the establishment of homes on some central site to which the 
men can return after each day's work. The size of the forest working 
unit should depend, therefore, upon the facilities for transportation. 

Forest operations conducted in this way would, of course, have to 
be planned ahead upon a long time basis, following the practice on 
the State-owned forests of the European countries. This might re- 
quire in some cases the purchase of scattered private timber holdings 
within and adjacent to the national forest boundaries. One-eighth 
of the land within these boundaries is at present alienated and held 
in private ownership. Another method would be to adopt some co- 
operative arrangement with the owners whereby they would receive 
each year a part of the net returns from the whole operation, such 
part being in proportion to the amount of the timber owned by them 
as compared with the total amount of timber on the tract. 

A typical drainage basin in the western national forests may 
be assumed to contain 100,000 acres of productive forest land. Sup- 
pose a series of operations be planned whereby the mature timber 
on this tract is to be cut off in 50 years. If the right methods of 
cutting are used, by the end of this 50-year period the younger trees 

1 Report of President's Mediation Commission, 1018, p. 14. 


will have grown so that the tract will be ready to be cut over again. 
In this way the tract can be kept continuously productive for all 
time. Suppose the permanent annual yield from this tract is 
20,000,000 board feet. This yield would provide continuous em- 
ployment for more than 150 men, who, with their families, would 
make a population of about 800. About half the men would be 
employed in the sawmill and half in the chopping operations. The 
sawmill, located perhaps at the entrance of the valley, would sup- 
port a permanent community of about 400 people. The logging 
operations in the woods would support another permanent com- 
munity of 400. This community would have to be relocated from 
time to time as different portions of the tract were being operated. 
But since the employment would be continuous the forest workers 
could at all times live in their homes with their families and main- 
tain a community life. 

Measures should be taken to see that the populations supported 
by the sawmill and the forest operations would develop into real 
communities and not mere shack towns. Aside from the mainte- 
nance of proper housing and living conditions, there are two or 
three fundamental community standards. These include provision 
for voting and self-government, for schools, churches, and educa- 
tional facilities, and for cooperation among the workers to secure 
their economic and social welfare. It has been estimated by the 
United States Forest Service that the forests of the country, under a 
proper system of timber culture, could provide permanent employ- 
ment for over 700,000 men, and thus support a population of about 

Summing up the possibilities of replacing logging camps by forest 
communities, the Secretary of Labor says : l 

By placing each logging unit under forestry so as to obtain therefrom a con- 
tinuous timber yield, the lumber camp and the " bunk house " can be converted 
into a forest community. The woods worker could then have a home as per- 
manent, at least, as that of his fellow workers in other industries, and the 
so-called " wobbly " would be in process of extinction. 

This change can not, of course, be accomplished all at once. But a beginning 
can be made in time to benefit the soldiers now returning from the war. The 
opportunity for this beginning is offered in the 150 million acres * or more of our 
national forests. Forest management of the kind required could be carried 
on in some cases through the present system of " timber sales " ; in other cases 
it has been suggested that the Government conduct its own logging operations. 
This policy has already been initiated by the United States forest regiments, 
not only in France but on our own Pacific coast, where spruce has been cut for 
airplane stock. The problems of marketing thus arising would have to be 
taken up in each case. One important market will consist of the coming needs 
of the Government itself for vast quantities of timber. 

1 Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor (1918), p. 145. 
'Including the national forests in Alask 



One very important forest region in which to replace timber min- 
ing by timber culture is the North Pacific coast, where a third of 
the country's remaining standing timber is located and where the 
labor problems are among the most urgent. Another important 
region for this purpose is on the other side of the continent — the 
Northeastern States — which have nearly a third of the country's 
population and a forest growth badly in need of rehabilitation. 


Along with the "timber wolf" of the logging camp the under- 
ground worker of the mining camp deserves the special and serious 
attention of those whose duty it is to advance the welfare of Ameri- 
can wage earners. This is recognized in the department's policy with 
respect to the great extractive industries of lumbering and mining. 

. Whether or not conditions in the mining industry are sufficiently 
realized by the public, they are understood by the workers themselves 
and by some, at least, of the mine owners. Mr. Francis S. Peabody, 
of Illinois, who was chairman of the committee on coal production 
of the Council of National Defense, in speaking at a hearing on the 
mineral-land bill before the Senate Committee on Public Lands on 
June IS, 1917, said: 1 

We have the cheapest production of coal in the world * * * and have used 
it like drunken men. We have wasted our substance by taking the nearest 
coal because we could produce it cheapest. We have had no thought of con- 
servation of life. We kill three men in this country for every one man killed 
on the other side, with more dangerous mining conditions on the other side. 

The opportunity for developing the coal-mining industry under a 
policy which will do away with these unnecessary evils and set up 
proper standards of labor is presented in coal lands still owned by 
the Federal Government or by certain of the Western States. One 
of the big undeveloped coal fields lies in the San Juan Valley, in 
northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. This is in the United 
States public domain and a proposition has already been put before 
Congress to build a Government railroad to tap this region. Lignite 
coal deposits, still undeveloped, occur in the State lands of North 
Dakota. The legislature of this State, in the 1919 session, adopted 
a measure providing for a beginning of the developing of these lands 
by the State. Perhaps the best opportunity for developing public 
coal lands is in the Territory of Alaska — in the Matanuska, the 
Bering River, and other fields. 

With regard to the application of his land policy to coal-land 
development the Secretary of Labor says : 2 

1 Hearings before the Senate Committee on Public Lands, 65th Cong., 1st sess., on S. 45, 
June 13, 1917, pp. 19-20. 

3 Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of Latwr (1918), p. 145. 


Mineral laud which may be utilized as an opportunity for the employment 
of American soldiers now returning consists for the most part of the coal 
fields which still remain in the public domain. Some of these are located in 
the Western States. The most important, however, lie in the Territory of 
Alaska. These Alaskan fields have been permanently reserved, part of the 
coal to be mined under a leasing system and part to be retained for Govern- 
ment use. A Government railroad has been built into the Matanuska coal 
fields, and these under present law can be further developed in a way to set 
fair labor standards in the mining industry and for those seeking employment 
in this northern land. 

The Alaskan coal leasing law, 1914. 

The first coal-land law embodying a leasing system to be passed 
by Congress was signed by President Wilson on October 20, 1914. 1 
Under this law the President is directed to reserve — not only from 
sale but from lease — certain coal lands for Government and public 
purposes. These lands " may be mined under the direction of the 
President when in his opinion the mining of such coal in such 
reserved areas, under the direction of the President, becomes neces- 
sary by reason of an insufficent supply of coal at a reasonable price " 
for the Government railroads and other works, for the Navy and 
national protection, and for " relief from monopoly or oppressive 
conditions." These reserved lands shall not exceed 12 square miles 
in the Matanuska coal field, nor 8 square miles in the Bering River 
field, nor one-half of the coal-land area elsewhere in the Territory. 

Aside from these lands the Secretary of the Interior is directed 
to lease any or all other coal lands in blocks, to any one lessee, not to 
exceed 4 square miles in area. A royalty shall be charged on a 
tonnage basis and an annual rental (to be credited against the royal- 
ties as they accrue in any one year) of $0.25 per acre for the first 
year, $0.50 per acre per annum for the next four years, and $1 per 
acre each year thereafter. In this way the full natural value of the 
coal deposits is obtainable to the Government, and a method pro- 
vided to prevent the holding of lands out of use. The values col- 
lected are to be spent for the benefit of the Territory of Alaska. 

Coal for local and domestic use is provided for free of charge 
under certain reasonable limitations. 

Definite labor standards are stipulated, including the eight-hour 
day for underground workers and provision for their safety. 

The Alaskan coal-land law is the first constructive measure, on 
this particular matter, to be passed by Congress. It has been in 
operation about four and a half years. During this time the Euro- 
pean war has been waging, work on the Alaskan Railroad has had 
to be restricted, and Alaska in general has had to be considered as 
44 nonessential territory." Very little development, therefore, either 
of coal lands or other resources, has taken place. 

* 38 Stat, p. 741. 


Methods of handling coal lands on the western public domain. 

The original method of dealing with coal lands on the public 
domain consisted of outright sales of such lands at prices per acre 
not lower than the minimum prescribed in the law. This method 
applied both in the United States and in Alaska. The consequent 
tendency was for lands to be sold at or near the minimum value rather 
than at their true value. The result was speculation and attendant 

A check was placed on this old-time method. James R. Garfield, 
Secretary of the Interior from 1906 to 1909, introduced a new method 
of handling coal lands by selling them at their actual appraised 
value. He had the coal lands of the public domain classified by the 
Geological Survey and their actual value appraised upon the basis 
of the estimated tonnage of coal contained in such lands. Areas like 
those which formerly sold at the minimum price per acre of $10 or 
$20 were often sold for $500 per acre. This method has been used 
ever since. The result has been the reduction, if not the prevention, 
of speculation in coal lands on the public domain. 

But this Garfield system was unsatisfactory from two points of 
view: The conservationists considered it a makeshift. They main- 
tained that the method of alienating the fee-simple title to natural 
resources of this kind was fundamentally wrong. Instead of selling 
the lands they should be utilized under a leasing system in which the 
ultimate control of such lands, and of the industry to be conducted 
thereon, should be in the Government itself. Instead of selling the 
lands, even upon the basis of an appraisal, the product of such land, 
namely, the mineral itself, should be disposed of by means of a 
royalty of so much per ton. Only in this way could the true, natural 
values be collected for the public benefit. Only in this way, they 
maintained, could public control be exercised over the industry in- 
volved. The speculating interests, on the other hand, desired a 
reversion to the pre-Garfield system of getting absolute control 
through fee simple and of buying the lands at or near the minimum 
price required in the law. 

Congress for 10 years has had before it the problem of determining 
upon a policy for the coal lands of the public domain. With regard 
to the Alaskan lands a policy of Government ownership was decided 
upon. The law of 1914 provided that the title should remain vested 
in the United States and that the lands be developed, as already ex- 
plained, either through private lease or Government operation. With 
regard to areas in the Western States, two alternatives are presented 
to Congress : 'Either to provide for retaining title, as was done in 
Alaska, or else to go back to the pre-Garfield system of speculating in 
coal lands. The choice is one of going forward or going back. 


The application of the land-development policy of the Secretary of 
Labor to the mining industry in continental United States is depend- 
ent upon the retention by Congress of the coal-land title in the west- 
ern public domain and the adoption of the Alaskan system. A bill 
for disposing of the western coal lands, together with oil, phosphate, 
and other mineral lands, was passed by both Houses of the Sixty- 
fifth Congress, but did not finally become law. 

This measure appeared on the surface to be an attempt to go for- 
ward and backward at the same time. It contained leasing provisions 
taken almost word for word from the Alaskan coal-land law. But 
it contained also a section providing for the sale of coal lands under 
the pre-Garfield system — that is, for selling the lands on an acreage 
basis and without official tonnage estimates — rather than by the pres- 
ent (Garfield) method of selling on a tonnage basis officially esti- 
mated. Thus the measure would have alienated control and opened 
the land to speculation. Its enactment, therefore, would have been 
a backward step and would have effectively blocked the Secretary 
of Labor's policy as applied to these coal lands. 

Possibilities in colonizing Alaska. 

The Government railroad in Alaska, in addition to tapping the 
Matanuska coal fields, will open up vast areas now inaccessible. It 
is estimated that Alaska contains, in its valleys which lie between 
the ice-covered mountains, about 65 million acres of potential agri- 
cultural land now covered by a meager growth of timber. The 
projected lines of Government railways are going to penetrate, in 
Alaska, the last American frontier. In view of the combination of 
mineral, forest, and agricultural resources to be opened in that vast 
country, nearly all of which is still public land, Alaska should pre- 
sent one of the most promising areas now left on the globe for those 
seeking a new start in life. Another Scandinavia here awaits de- 
velopment. The Government railroad is the first big step in this 
development. If this new country is to be an opportunity for the 
soldier and the worker, and not for the speculator, a colonization 
policy based upon the principles discussed should be the next step in 
its development 


Rivers and streams, as already stated, are useful for four main 
productive purposes — power, sanitation, irrigation, and navigation. 

Water power is the rival of coal in the generation of electrical 
energy for the latter's varied uses. It bids fair to be the main 
potential source for lighting, heating, and mechanical industry in 
the household, the farm, and the factory. The supply of coal is 
definitely limited; the power in a stream goes on forever. The 


labor required in mining coal is arduous and dangerous. The labor 
required in utilizing the stream, is in large measure limited to that 
of original construction. By substituting wherever possible the 
" white coal " of falling water for the black coal from the under- 
ground, the latter is left for the smelting and other uses for which 
it alone will suffice, and a vast energy, requiring in the long run 
almost insignificant labor effort, can be placed at the service of 

The horsepower capable of being developed under present con- 
ditions in the rivers and streams of the United States is estimated 
to be in the neighborhood of 60,000,000. This power could be 
greatly increased through the storage of flood waters. Thus far 
only about 8,000,000 horsepower has been made actually available. 
A project to develop this unused latent power would require a vast 
amount of construction on reservoirs and other works. This would 
provide many opportunities for alternative employment and yet 
would result ultimately in a great saving of human labor. 

There is grave danger, however, that a large part, if not the 
greater part, of the labor conservation thus made possible would 
be lost unless the control of this great public utility be kept in public 
hands. Fortunately, as yet most of the country's potential water 
power remains in public hands; its control is vested in the United 
States Government. But if the Government were divested of this 
control the opportunity for proper public development would be 
practically lost. 

In the use of water for sanitation and allied purposes, in house- 
hold and city, the labor saved in the modern system of " running 
water" over the primitive system of "hauling water" needs only 
to be mentioned. Through the process of irrigation, where fertile 
soil can get water in the time and quantity needed, the product of 
the farmer's labor on an area is far beyond that where this process 
is lacking. Transportation of a given tonnage by water, as well 
known, requires far less labor, both in original construction and 
maintenance, than that by rail; and where speed is not essential, 
the waterway should, as far as possible, be made to relieve the 


The main features of legislation required to carry out the depart- 
ment's development policy may be briefly summed up. Practically 
all of these features are embodied in legislation which has been pro- 
posed in Congress. 

A national board authorized to cooperate with States. 

1 Executive authority for carrying out legislation should be vested 
in a national administrative board of appropriate cabinet officers, 

employment and natural resources. 29 

including the Secretaries of Labor, Agriculture, and Interior, this 
board to work through a competent director who should be empow- 
ered to make written, specific, cooperative agreements with any State 
or municipality through such officials as may be authorized to co- 
operate with Federal agencies in the kind of work contemplated. * 

To enable the board to carry out the land-development policy 
which has been outlined, the legislation must provide for three 
things — for securing the requisite land, for securing the necessary 
money, and for vesting the board with the requisite powers. 

The placing of discretionary powers in the hands of a national 
board or department is, of course, always open to the dangers of arbi- 
trary action by a bureaucracy. An antidote for bureaucracy often 
suggested is that of " decentralization." There is no question that 
matters affecting solely the interests of any one local community 
should be controlled by that community. Most local affairs, how- 
ever, affect national affairs, and this is so particularly in the matter 
of using natural resources, for natural resources are also national 
resources. What happens to the soils, the forests, the ores, or the 
water powers in any one State affects the people of the entire Nation. 
The opportunity of utilizing land in any State affects not only the 
worker in that State ; it affects every worker in America. To place 
these matters wholly in State hands, therefore, as sometimes sug- 
gested, is not only wrong in principle but works toward a very prac- 
tical evil — it withdraws the disposal of our national resources from 
the searchlight of national attention. 

Bureaucracy is something by no means limited to the Central 
Government; it applies to the Strfte and the local government, 
and to the private corporation. A better antidote than decen- 
tralization is cooperation, but there seems to be no " cure-all " 
for the evil. Arbitrary power is one kind of bad government, 
and there are several other kinds; but this does not mean that we 
should cease to vest power in officials. Cooperation, coupled wfth 
constructive criticism both from within and from outside the Govern- 
ment, marks a definite line along which we can work to reduce, and 
finally abolish, that combination of arbitrary power and inefficiency 
which we call " bureaucracy." 

Land and taxation. 

The board should be authorized by Congress to reserve per- 
manently for the purposes of the act any land — whether agri- 
cultural, forest, mineral, or other— in the public domain, as well 
as any water rights in control of Congress, rights of way, or other 
easements. The board should also be empowered to make pur- 
chases, through condemnation proceedings and otherwise, of lands 
in private ownership. Where the result of reserving or purchasing 


land is to deprive any State, county, or other local government 
of taxes which it could otherwise collect, provision should be made 
that payment in lieu of taxes be made to such local government 
out of rentals collected from the land users by the national board 
or cooperating State authority. The securing of land for settle- 
ment purposes by general expropriation, as contemplated in Canada, 
may become necessary. 

The fee-simple title to all lands reserved or purchased by the 
Federal Government or by any State should be held permanently 
by the Government or State. The individual settler, as land user, 
should, for the reasons given herein, hold a tenure dependent 
upon use — either a perpetual leasehold or other restricted estate. 
Such tenure could be transferred at any time, through the proper 
action, from the settler to his heirs or assigns; and arrangements 
should be made in the case of transfer that the settler be reimbursed 
by the Government for improvements made at his expense. 

Extra values given to land in the vicinity of settlement areas due 
to improvements made on such areas at State or Government expense 
should be collected by the State through special taxation. This is 
necessary to prevent values created at public expense from going into 
private pockets as well as to protect the public settlement project 
from the demoralization coming from private speculation and local 
real estate booms. Taxation of this kind might require changes in 
the State constitution. 

The Federal Government, in cooperating with any State, should 
stipulate that land values created through Federal improvements be 
thus collected by such State. Under this arrangement, properly 
safeguarded, the. Government could well be expected to take the ini- 
tiative in creating local values. In so doing, however, clean-cut 
measures should be taken to see that these values go where they 
belong — to the settler and worker in the equivalent of fair wages, to 
the legitimate investor in a fair return, to the local community in 
sufficient taxes, but not to the speculator in unearned profits. 


Farm building and other public works could be financed either 
through direct appropriation or through bond issues. The latter 
method should be limited usually to self-supporting enterprises; to 
projects like reclaiming land which can be paid for, with interest, by 
the land user on the amortization plan ; or else to projects like road 
building, which can be paid for by special taxes on the increased value 
of abutting lands. In such cases some provision would have to be 
made, either directly or through the State, for reimbursing the Fed- 
eral Government. The latter would then be spending no money at 
all, since all funds advanced would be returned with interest to the 


Treasury, and thus the credit only of the Government would be 

In cooperating with any State for carrying on development proj- 
ects therein it is customary to restrict the amount paid or advanced 
from the Federal Treasury to sums not exceeding 50 per cent of the 
necessary costs. The national board should be authorized to make 
the necessary assessments and collections for reimbursing the Gov- 
ernment for advances made. 

Expenditures of varying amounts are proposed in the land settle- 
ment measures which thus far have been before Congress. Appro- 
priations for purposes of agricultural development alone vary from 
$100,000,000 to $500,000,000. The latter sum would probably provide 
for from 75,000 to 150,000 families, depending on the size of allot- 
ments and the cost of land and improvements. 

Powers and duties. 

^ In addition to the powers necessary for securing the needful lands 
and finances the national board should be authorized, through rules 
and regulations to be formulated thereby, and through cooperation 
when desirable with separate States or municipalities, to carry out 
certain functions, including the following: 

To locate areas of land suitable to be settled and colonized in con- 
venient community units and to be developed for farming, forest, or 
other purposes. 

To conduct soil, forest, and other surveys for classifying and de- 
termining the most profitable uses for such lands and to prepare plans 
for developing the same for these uses. 

To take proper measures to carry out the plans when formulated, 
including the providing and equipping of ready-made farms and of 
facilities for farm operation. 

To pass upon the qualifications of applicants for the lands in the 
communities to be settled. 

To supervise the colonies when once established. 

To organize cooperative buying, storage, and marketing facilities 
in connection with motor transport postal routes or otherwise. 

To organize facilities for obtaining credit and insurance. 

To provide for the construction and upkeep of post roads and other 
public improvements which will aid or advance the use of any land- 
development project. 

To provide means for collecting money advanced for purchase of 
land, making improvements thereon, and for loans and other purposes. 

A public " construction service." 

As a means for carrying out development plans and providing for 
the construction of public improvements, the national board, in co- 
operation with States and with labor organizations, should be further 


authorized to organize a body of men — returned soldiers and other 
workers — to form a public construction service. Such a service is 
provided for in proposed legislation. As far as possible, it should be 
organized on the principle of collective bargaining and in units of 
" cooperative crews." This method is working well in construction 
work on the railroad now being built by the United States Govern- 
ment in Alaska, where the cooperative crew has very largely replaced 
the private contractor. 

For any construction service thus organized Congress should pro- 
vide proper standards of labor. These should include safe working 
conditions, proper living conditions, provision for a scale of mini- 
mum wages, and a basic working-day of eight hours — this to be in- 
creased only in cases of necessity, and to be reduced in proportion to 
increased efficiency. Employment in such service should, of course, 
be entirely voluntary and the workers should have full power to 
organize among themselves for their economic and social welfare. 
The purpose should be to create nothing like an " industrial army," 
but, rather, an opportunity for immediate employment in construc- 
tion and development work which would lead to permanent employ- 
ment on the land developed. 



In view of the double possibility of securing alternative employ- 
ment and of reducing the cost of living, the first immediate step which 
might well be provided for in carrying out the Labor Department's 
policy, consists of an immediate construction program to link together 
the farm colony and the city market. Marketing facilities connecting 
farm producer and city consumer have already been established 
through the parcel-post system of the Post Office Department. In 
the city of Washington, D. C, at the Park View schoolhouse, which 
is also a postal station, dairy and other farm products are being de- 
livered by motor truck from the various outlying rural communi- 
ties and distributed at cost to the local city, housekeepers. Thirty-six 
motor-transport postal routes have been established in different parts 
of the country, and the Post Office Department has worked out plans 
for extending this service. In connection with these plans the depart- 
ment has also a project for building 15,000 miles of post roads, this 
being wholly a Federal program and not having to wait upon State 

Farm produce which can be carried in small containers is more 
directly and efficiently transported by motor truck than by rail or 
water, and a motor-transport postal system will sooner or later be 
developed throughout the country to supplement the railway system. 
Farm colonies should be located on these postal motor routes. By 


utilizing a " construction service," as provided for in proposed legis- 
lation, to build post roads which have been planned by the Post 
Office Department many thousands of men could be set at work at 
any time and any unemployment situation could be promptly re- 
lieved. By following road building with farm building — in colony 
units on the motor routes — immediate employment on the roads could 
be made to lead to permanent employment on the land. 

A ptflicy like this of developing new farming communities in- 
timately associated through postal marketing facilities with the 
urban communities would tend -to form outlets for the congested 
centers of population. To the worker in particular it would offer 
an alternative job; to the people in general it would offer more 
direct access to the land. 

In the main body of the report which is to follow only two out of« 
the four natural resources will be taken up. As already indicated 
there are good possibilities for making opportunities for alternative 
employment through the opening of the public coal and mineral 
lands, and through the vast construction work of developing the 
water power and other uses of our rivers and streams. But these 
possibilities have not thus far been investigated in any detail by this 
department. Henqe they will not be considered except incidentally 
in the pages to follow. Attention will be limited, therefore, to the 
possibilities of providing permanent employment on the agricultural 
and forest lands of the country. 

The report comprises four chapters. The first chapter presents in 
brief outline a geographic view of the original, actual, and potential 
utilization of the territory of the United States. The second chapter 
discusses the salient principles which seem to be required in any 
land utilization seeking the real benefit of returned soldiers and other 
workers. The last two chapters examine various methods, either 
in practice or proposed, for applying these principles in actual cases. 
Chapter III takes up methods applying on farm lands, and Chapter 
IV those applying on forest lands. 

118860°— 19 3 




To obtain a comprenensive view of the possibilities of developing 
]and and natural resources in the United States, for the purpose of 
making new opportunities for employment, three stages or conditions 
in the utilization of the country's land area are here described: (1) 
The original or past condition; (2) the actual or present condition; 
and (3) the potential or possible future condition. The transition 
from original to present land conditions, and the probable future 
changes from actual to potential conditions, are also described. 

All but a trivial proportion of the area of the United States con- 
sists of farm, forest, range, or barren land. Water surfaces (lakes 
and rivers exclusive of the Great Lakes) cover one and three- fourths 
per cent of the total area, but these are excluded from the acreage 
considered herein. Extensive areas are underlaid by coal and other 
mineral deposits, but most of the surface of these areas can be used 
independently from the mining operations. The total surface area 
to be required exclusively for such operations is very limited. Al- 
though the mineral and water resources of the country are the equals 
in importance of the agricultural and forest resources, the area re- 
quired for their utilization is proportionately so small that they are 
not included in this chapter. Areas occupied by roads and railway 
trackage are assumed as being absorbed in the various land classes 


There are five physical features of the land surface of the United 
States, in its original condition, which are of interest in the present 
problem of land development. They are shown on map 1, facing page 
36. Each of them requires some explanation : 

(1) The region of the original eastern forest. This reaches from 
the Atlantic on the east to an irregular but fairly definite limit of 
forest growth on the west. This limit traverses territory now forming 
parts of the States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, 
Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. ( See map 1. ) Practically all of this 
region was originally covered with a fairly dense forest growth. 



Three types of growth form the eastern forest. These are (a) the 
northern mixed growth (of pine, hemlock, spruce, birch, maple, and 
other trees) reaching from the " Northwoods " of Maine through New 
York and Ontario to the northern Lake States; (b) the central hard- 
woods (of oak, ash, elm, and many other species) reaching from 
southern New England through Pennsylvania into the Ohio Valley 
and adjoining States; (c) the southern conifers (of hard pine in the 
uplands, and cypress in the swamps) reaching along the Atlantic and 
Gulf coastal plain. 

Three types of topography occur in the region of the eastern forest. 
One of these consists of the eastern ranges of the mountain zone, the 
largest range being the Southern Appalachian. Another type of 
topography consists of the swamp and overflow land and extensive 
river bottoms; these occur on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, in the 
lower Mississippi Valley, in northern Minnesota, and elsewhere. The 
third type consists of the rolling intermediate land, forming the bulk 
of the region. 

(2) The central prairies lying between the region of the original 
eastern forest and the semiarid region of the West. These form a 
level to rolling, treeless area, except for deciduous growth along the 
river courses. 

(3) The semiarid region of the Wext (including the smaller a/rid 
region of the extreme Southwest). This covers the bulk of the area 
having an annual precipitation under 20 inches ; it reaches from Cali- 
fornia on the west to a line roughly parallel with the one hundredth 
meridian — about the middle of the country. The "sagebrush 
country " characterizes most of the semiarid region. 

(4) The northwest humid region, lying in western Oregon and 
Washington. This region has an annual precipitation of from 30 to 
100 inches and more. It includes both mountain and lowland zones. 
The western flank of the Cascade Range has the highest annual rain- 
fall in the country. 

(5) The mountain zone (east and west), as shown on the map, is 
more or less mixed in with the other physical features. The main 
ranges of this zone are: The northeastern ranges (the White and 
Green Mountains in New E:q£;lan<J. and the AdirondacKS in New 
York) ; the Southern Appalachians (from Pennsylvania to Ala- 
bama) ; the Ozarks (in Missouri and Arkansas) ; the southern and the 
northern Rockies ; the Sierras of California ; the Cascades of Oregon 
and Washington ; and the Coast Ranges along the Pacific. 

The forest growth varies greatly in different parts of the mountain 
zone. The heaviest growth of the country goes with the heaviest 
rainfall of the country — on the western flank of the Cascades (in 
Washington and Oregon). The chief tree here is the giant Douglas 
fir. A heavy growth (of sugar pine and other conifers) occurs in 


the Sierras; another fairly heavy growth (bull pine and other coni- 
fers) occurs in the northern Rockies, and a lighter growth of timber 
(pine and spruce) occurs in the southern Rockies. Practically -no 
hardwoods occur on the western side of the country. The main body 
of hardwood timber is in the southern Appalachians. These moun- 
tains contain tulip poplar, oaks, hickories, and other valuable woods. 
The Ozarks contain a mixture of hardwoods and pine; the north- 
eastern ranges grow spruce, maple, birch, and the other trees of the 
northern forest. 




The physical features which have been described and shown on 
map 1 apply especially to the original condition of the United States 
and before the land area was put to any extensive utilization. The 
difference between the original and the present condition of this 
land area is, of course, a very marked one. The transformation 
which has taken place began with the first clearings made in the 
forests along the Atlantic coast by the early English settlers. For 
two centuries after these first clearings, however, only a trivial im- 
pression was made upon the original American landscape and upon 
the vast resources of the continent. French, Spanish, and British 
explorers penetrated various parts of the continent from both the 
Atlantic and Pacific sides; various claims were made for the re- 
spective mother countries; and the original 13 British colonies be- 
came established from New Hampshire to Georgia, One of the 
world's greatest empires lay all but untouched at the time the 
American Republic was making its start in life. This empire was 
to become, almost every acre of it, the actual property in fee of the 
new American State, and the history of this State has been in large 
measure the story of the settlement of its u public domain." 

(a) The public domain. 

When the Thirteen Colonies became free and independent States 
they came into the possession of the territory between the Atlantic 
seaboard and the Mississippi River. One by one the separate States 
turned over to the Federal Government their claims to land west of 
the Alleghenies. This Federal land consisted of two parts, that 
north of the Ohio River known as the Northwest Territory and 
that now occupied by the States of Mississippi and Alabama. This 
land, being vested in the Federal Government, became the original 
public domain of the United States, and the common ownership of 
this domain, by the Union of isolated communities then forming the 


States, is claimed to be one of the prime factors in holding that 
Union together in the critical days of its infancy. 

The original public domain covered about 220 million acres, and 
this is shown on map 2 (opposite page) by the unshaded portions of 
the " territory of the original thirteen States." To this territory the 
following additions were made : 

Louisiana Purchase, 1803. 

Florida Cession, 1819. 

Oregon Territory, 1846. 

Mexican Cession (including California and the present South- 
western States) , 1848. 

Gadsden Purchase, 1853. 
Texas was annexed to the Union in 1845, but none of the land 
within its borders, as these were finally determined, ever became part 
of the United States public domain. Alaska Territory was pur- 
chased from Russia in 1867 and added to the domain. Aside from 
this Territory, covering over 378 million acres, the total acreage 
contained at one time or another in the public domain of the 
United States is something over 1,442 million acres. This is 76 per 
cent of the total area of continental United States. 

The so-called "public-land States" are those which have been 
formed out of the public domain. They are indicated by the un- 
shaded areas on map 2 and comprise the following groups : 

States formed wholly out of the "Northwest Territory"— 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

The Southeastern States of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. 

All States west of the Mississippi River, except Texas. 
The legal subdivision of land in these States is based on the uni- 
form system of surveys provided by Congress for the public lands. 
According to this system, the land is divided into rectangular town- 
ships numbered with respect to their position north or south from a 
given parallel, or " base," and east or west from a given " prime me- 
ridian." Each township is supposed to be 6 miles square, contain- 
ing 36 square miles, or "sections." A section (640 acres) may be 
divided into " half sections " (320 acres each) or into quarter sections 
(160 acres each). The quarter section in turn may be divided into 
two "eighties" or four "forties." A diagram of a township is 
shown in figure 1, page 40. Upon this rectangular system of surveys, 
lands under a single ownership may be scattered among many sec- 
tions, quarter sections, forties, etc., in a very complex way. This 
system is used by Texas on its State lands, and very largely by the 
Canadian Provinces on the Crown lands. The non-public-land States 
in the East have no single system of legal subdivision. 

The main feature of the public-land policy of the United States 
(so far as there has been any definite policy) has been the disposal 



of the land. Until about 1840 the land was disposed of chiefly by 
means of contract, credit, or cash sales, in both large and small par- 













eels, to individuals and private companies. The preemption system 
of selling at low prices to settlers on the ground was in vogue from 



1841 until 1891. Extensive land grants, especially between 1840 and 
1870, were made by Congress to States and to corporations. Each 
State as it entered the Union was granted certain sections in each 
township (usually sections 16 and 36) to be appropriated by the State 
for the maintenance of common schools within its borders (see fig. 1). 
Grants of selected land were made for State universities, agricul- 

**• On* AS//*-* 
Fig. Id— A TOWNSHIP-— A township consists of 36 sections, each, section covering 1 
square mile or 640 acres. Each township, therefore, covers 23,040 acres. To each 
public-land State as it entered the Union grants were made by the Government ot 
sections 16 and 36 (shaded in figure), to be used for raising money for maintaining 
common schools. Legal subdivisions of a section are shown In upper right-hand 

tural colleges, public buildings, internal improvements, and various 
other purposes. Practically all of the swamp lands were granted to 
the respective States. Huge grants were made to the Pacific rail- 
roads, as well as to railway companies in the Middle West. Under 
these grants the title to the odd numbered sections within some limit 
(20, 30, or 40 miles) on each side of the right of way was vested in 



the railroad companies. Grants were made for certain wagon-road 
projects in the far West. In 1862 the homestead law was passed de- 

signed to be applicable only to agricultural land. Laws were also 
passed for the disposal of other kinds of land — coal lands (1873), 


desert lands (1877), timber and stone lands (1878). By means of 
the grants and the various classes of laws here referred to, about 
seven-tenths of the total public domain have now been disposed of and 
gone into private ownership. 

In contrast to this feature of public-land disposal there has been a 
strong movement during the past 30 years for the retention of public 
land. The main class of land now retained permanently by the 
Government is that comprising the national forests. The bulk of 
these lie along the divides of the western mountain ranges as shown 
on map 3, page 41. They have been established by presidential 
proclamation under authority of a law passed in 1891. A number 
of national parks and monuments have been reserved by the Govern- 
ment. Another large class of reserved land is that contained in the 
Indian reservations, but since this land is gradually being allotted to 
individual Indians and thus passing into private hands, it can not 
be said to be permanently retained. The Alaska coal-land law of 
1914 reserves to the Government the title to all coal land in that Ter- 
ritory, part of the land to be handled under a leasing system and the 
rest to be held for Government operation when needed. Laws have 
been contemplated, but not passed by Congress, for retaining graz- 
ing land and having it used under Government regulation. This 
method of handling grazing lands in the national forests has proved 
very successful. Although most of the grazing and all of the agri- 
cultural lands left in the public domain are still unreserved, the prin- 
ciple of retaining the title to public mineral and public forest land 
has now made its start. 

In addition to the retention of forest land within the public 
domain Congress has passed legislation for the acquisition of forest 
land outside the public domain. This legislation, known as the 
Weeks law, passed in 1911. Under this authority several forest areas 
have been purchased in the Southern Appalachians and in the White 
Mountains of New England. 

In addition also to the retention and acquisition of land by the 
Federal Government, the latter has taken definite steps toward the 
development of land. The " Reclamation law " of 1902 provides for 
the Government construction of irrigation works for reclaiming 
desert lands on the western public domain. The Alaskan railroad 
law of 1914 provides for the Government construction and possible 
operation of a railroad line for opening the Matanuska coal fields 
and for connecting the Yukon Valley with the southern coast. 

Table 1 presents a general statement of the disposition, on June 
30, 1918, of all land (outside of Alaska) at any time forrning part of 
the public domain! 



Table 1°. — Disposition of land once in the public domain {June 30, 1918). 

Total area of the United States. 

Torritory at no time part of the public domain . . . 
Territory at some time part of the public domain. 

Area disposed of. 

State grants 

For common schools (sees. 16 and 36, 2 and 32). 

Swam p lands 

For all other purposes 





Land patented under railroad and wagon road grants 

State grants for benefit of railroad corporations . 

Corporation grants (direct ) 

Wagon roads 

Disposed of in designated ways. 

Early private sales 

Homestead ontries since passage of law in 1862 

Desert-land entries sinco passage of law in 1877 

Timber-culture entries since passage of law in 1873. . . . 
Timber and stono ontries since passage of law in 1878 . 

Coal-land ontries sinre passage of law in 1873 

Indian land allotments 

Otherwise disposed of , 

Area remaining in United States ownership . 

National forests 

National parks and monuments 

Indian lands (unallotted) 

Withdrawals and reservations (estimated). 
Unreserved and unappropriated 




































22 5 






o From annual reports, June 30, 1918, of the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of the General 
Land Office, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and from other official reports in the Departments 
of the Interior and of Agriculture. 

b The original grants by Congress exceed this area by about 35,000,000 acres, which is the acreage 
remaining unpatented but subject to future acquisition by the corporations. 

c Less than one-tenth of 1 per cent. 

Of the 427 million acres of one-time public domain which still 
remain in the ownership of the United States over 90 per cent occur 
in the 11 far western States (the Mountain and Pacific States). The 
disposition, on June 30, 1918, of the land in each of these States is 
analyzed in Table 2 (next page). 

Table 2 shows that about 51 per cent of the area of these far 
western States remains in the hands of the Government. The na- 
tional forests occupy about 130 million acres in this region, or perhaps 
two-thirds of the mountain zone area included in the States named. 
The other reserved land consists chiefly of national parks, national 
monuments, Indian reservations, and of coal and other kinds of land 
withdrawn from entry pending valuation. Of the 222 million acres 
of land remaining in the public domain, and open to entry under the 
various land laws, the larger part is estimated to be valuable chiefly 
for grazing purposes; but this acreage contains also much worthless 
desert land as well as some areas which through irrigation are 
capable of being used for farming purposes. 



Table 2°. — Disposition of land in the Mountain and Pacific States (June 80, 

(All areas given in million, acres.) 


Land held by United States Government. 







(open to 


Mountain and Pacific States 








Mountain States 




































MOPtftflft ,....,,,, - r . . , 


N«1TRril|. r .. ¥r ...--,,,.,.... 


New Mexico 




12. ? 

Wyoming . . . . r . . . , 


Pacific States 

















Washington r ... 


Mountain and Pacific States 

Mountain States 






New Mexico 



Pacific States 




of state 

area in un- 









of State 
area held 
by United 














a From annual reports, June 30, 1918, of the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of the General 
Land Office, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and from area table of national forests. 

t> Mostly in private ownership, but includes some State lands as well as coal land and other withdrawals 
from the public domain. 

c Less than 100,000 acres. 

(b) The frontier of population. 

What is here called the " frontier of population " is the line be- 
tween territory having more than two persons per square mile and 
that having less than two persons per square mile. The migration 
of this frontier from east to west across the continent is indicated 
in map 4 on the opposite page. 


The rural population at the time of the first United States census 
in 1790 was almost entirely east of the Allegheny Mountains; and 

the "frontier" as above defined, and as shown on map i, embraced 
central and southern New England, eastern New York and the 
Mohawk Valley, southern Pennsylvania, and the South Atlantic 


States to eastern Georgia. But even at this early time the frontier 
was broken. A small, isolated area populated from 2 to 18 persons 
per square mile already existed along the Ohio River in what is 
now Kentucky. The rest of the country was unbroken wilderness, 
except for a few small settlements. 

Thirty years after, in 1820, the population had spread across the 
Alleghenies, and the Ohio Valley rivaled in numbers the Atlantic 
Coastal Plain. The frontier now stretched roughly from Detroit to 
St. Louis, and thence to Georgia, embracing also a strip of thinly 
populated country through Alabama and Louisiana. 

After another 30 years, in 1850, the frontier had pushed north- 
ward into Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa; westward across Mis- 
souri, Arkansas, and eastern Texas; and southward through Missis- 
sippi, Alabama, Georgia, and northern Florida. 

By 1880 it had pushed northwest through Minnesota to the Red 
River Valley and the eastern Dakotas, and farther westward across 
Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and central Texas. A number of 
thinly populated areas had formed through the far West — centering 
in the localities of Denver, Salt Lake, and Butte; and along the 
Columbia River and the Pacific coast. Only two localities iij. the 
western half of the country — those around Denver and San Fran- 
cisco — had a rural population of more than 18 per square mile. 

At the present time the frontier in continental United States has 
practically disappeared, and the area of the country may be divided, 
on the basis of the 1910 census, into three grades which are shown 
on map 5, opposite page. 

1. Territory having between 18 and 45 persons per square mile, pr 
about 105 acres per family. This embraces almost all of eastern 
United States and includes small areas in the vicinity of several west- 
ern cities — Denver, Salt Lake, Spokane, Seattle, Portland, San Fran- 
cisco, and Los Angeles. About one-third of the area of this grade in 
the East contains more than 45 persons per square mile. 

2. Territory having between 2 and 18 persons per square mile, or 
about 320 acres per family. This bounds on three sides the more 
populous territory just described — on the north in the upper parts of 
New England, New York, and the Lake States ; on the west through 
the Great Plains from the Dakotas to Texas ; and on the south along 
the Gulf coast and in northern Florida. It extends also along the 
great western valleys and the Pacific coast. 

3. Territory having less than two persons per square mile. This 
territory comprises most of the semi-arid region of the West and 
several remnant corners of the East. The latter include the forest 
and swamp sections of northern Minnesota and of Maine, and the 
Everglades of southern Florida. 


The census figures on increase and decrease of population be- 
tween 1900 and 1910 indicate a general migration from the more pop- 

ulous to the less populous territory. In about half of the counties 
throughout the "grain belt," from New York to Kansas, and in 
the more cultivated sections of Texas and the Southeastern States, 



the population actually decreased. And in most of the remaining 
counties of the grain belt the percentages of increase were very low. 
On the other hand, increases of more than 70 per cent were made in 
northern Minnesota, southern Florida, in scattered counties along 
the Gulf coast, in most sections on the Great Plains, and through 
the far-western valleys. 

But in addition to the migration which has taken place into unde- 
veloped territory from the more populous rural districts there has 
been from these districts a migration also into the urban centers. 
The general drift of the population from country to city since 1880 
is shown by the following percentages : 






Per cent. 










(c) Migration of the lumber industry. 

The spread of the population from the Atlantic seaboard into the 
Ohio Valley and elsewhere resulted, of course, in leveling a large 
portion of the original eastern forest. Much of this forest was cut 
off, not to produce lumber, but simply to clear the ground for agri- 
culture. For lack of market the finest kind of hardwood timber in 
the Ohio Valley was cut and burned in the pile by the early settlers. 
Thus a large part, and perhaps the most valuable part, of the cen- 
tral hardwood forest was thrown away. The clearing of the forests 
by the settlers, therefore, was usually no part of the lumber in- 

The lumber industry has also migrated from east to west along 
with the country's general development. The migrations of this 
industry are indicated in figure 2, page 49, which shows the percent- 
age of the Nation's lumber supply cut in certain regions and periods. 

The original home of the American lumber industry may be said 
to be in Maine, the old " Pine Tree State." Until the 1870's Marine 
and the other Northeastern States continued to cut the largest per- 
centage of any region in the country. In 1850 this region produced 
more than half of the total lumber made in the Nation. By 1880 its 
proportion had fallen to about one-fourth and at present is less than 
one- tenth. (See fig. 2.) Lumbering in Michigan and the Lake 
States got going about the middle of the century, and the propor- 
tionate cut of this region rose steadily until about 1890. During the 
last quarter of the century it was the main seat of the lumber in- 



dustry. Since 1900 the cut has sharply declined, and at present the 
proportion is about that of the Northeastern States, 10 per cent. 
But during (and before) this decline, the cut of the southern region 
had been steadily rising, and at present the main seat of the industry 
is in Louisiana and adjoining States. The cut is about half that in 
the Nation. The decline of the cut in this region will soon be at 
hand, and then the industry will be centered in the Pacific States, 
where the cut has been gradually rising since 1880. At present about 
one-fifth of the Nation's lumber comes from these States. 

fOSO i960 1670 laaO 1630 tSOO WO t3S0 


Thus the lumber industry has been, and still is, passing over the 
country in a series of waves. Except for a few virgin patches here 
and there the whole of the original eastern forest has been cut over 
and about half of it has been entirely cleared for agriculture. Most 
of the forests of the West, however, are still in virgin condition, 
especially in the mountainous sections. 


The results of the land development above sketched are presented 
on map 6, facing page 50. This shows an approximation, based on 
census and other data, 2 of the present land utilization of the United 

1 Report No. 114, Office of Secretary, U. S. Dept Agri., p. 6. 
118880°— 19 1 

* See map 6. 


States. This utilization is here indicated by means of six classes of 
territory, as follows: 

Class (1) territory. — Of this, more than 75 per cent consists of 
land improved for farming, i. e., either cultivated or used for pas- 
ture; the remainder (being less than 25 per cent) consists of one or 
more of several kinds of land — woodland, cut-over timberland, 
swamp land, unbroken prairie, range, and waste land. The bulk 
of this class (1) territory, as shown on map 6, is contained in the 
grain belt extending from Ohio through the Central States into the 
Dakotas. Isolated portions of this class occur as far east as New 
York, as far south as Texas, and as far west as California. Small 
portions of it are dotted throughout the far Western States, where 
land has been reclaimed through irrigation. 

Class (2) territory. — Of this, not less than 50 nor more than 
75 per cent consists of land improved for farming; the remainder 
(not less than 25 nor more than 50 per cent) consists of the other 
kinds of land above enumerated. The bulk of this class (2) terri- 
tory is contained in areas surrounding the grain belt and other 
portions of class (1). 

Class (3) territory, — Of this from 25 to 50 per cent is improved; 
the remainder (50 to 75 per cent) being as above enumerated. In 
this class, then, there is more unimproved land than improved land. 
More than half of the area here consists either of unimproved farm 
land, of farm woodland, or of land entirely outside of farms. This 
class (3) territory, as seen from the map, occurs in many regions. In 
New England, New York, and Pennsylvania the unimproved portions 
are largely farm woodland ; on the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plain 
they are largely farm woodland and cut-over timberland outside of 
farms ; in Texas they are largely unbroken prairie and range lands. 

Class {4) territory. — Of this less than 25 per cent is improved; the 
remainder (more than 75 per cent) consists of the various kinds of 
unimproved land. In the State of Maine the unimproved portions 
are found chiefly in the second growth woodlands outside of farms, 
while elsewhere in the Northeast they are included mostly in the farm 
woodlands. In the Lake States the unimproved portions are for the 
most part the cut-over timberlands ; on the Atlantic and Gulf coastal 
plains, the cut-over and swamp lands ; on the great plains from Texas 
to the Dakotas, the unbroken prairie and range lands ; on the Pacific 
coast and generally in the West they consist mainly of range lands. 

Class (5) territory. — Of this less than 20 per cent is in farms; the 
remainder (more than 80 per cent) consists of grazing land, tim- 
bered, cut-over, swamp, and desert land. The bulk of this class (5) 
territory lies in the "semiarid region" of the far western States; 
here it consists chiefly of land used or usable for grazing stock, 
though large parts of it are permanent desert land. A portion of 



this class occurs also in the northern Lake States, where it consists 
chiefly of timbered, cut-over, and swamp lands. Another portion 
occurs in Florida, where it consists in the main of swamp and tim- 
bered land. A small but important portion of this class (5) terri- 
tory occurs in the Puget Sound region of western Washington, 
where it consists mainly of Douglas fir land — part of it heavily 
timbered and part logged off. 

Class {6) territory is contained within the " mountain zone " (east 
and west). More than 90 per cent of it consists of timbered, cut- 
over, rangej and barren land ; the remainder (less than 10 per cent) 
is improved for farming. With the exception of parts of the east- 
ern mountain ranges in Pennsylvania and neighboring States, this 
class (6) territory coincides with the "mountain zone." 

The present land utilization of the United States, indicated 
graphically on map 6, is shown by means of approximate acreages 
in Table 3. This table shows the area of the United States accord- 
ing to certain present land classes and geographic divisions. 1 

Table 3/» — Area of the United States by present land classes and geographic divisions. 

(All areas are given in million acres.) 

land area. 


Land in farms. 

Geographic division. & 






Total United States 






New England 



















48. 5 











Middle Atlantic 


East North Central 


West North Central 


South Atlantic 


East South Central 


West South Central 




Pacific ■ 


o The figures given in Tables 3 and 4 are very rough estimates which have been compiled by compro- 

mising somewhat conflicting figures taken from the following sources: 
" i: ForestPl 

>y: "St 
l, pp. 181-191 
Greeley, W. «.: "Reduction of Timber Supply through Abandonment or Clearing of Forest Lands." 

Bowman, Isaiah: ForestPhysiography. 
Bradfield, Wesley: "Standing Timber in Wood lots," Report of the National Conservation Commission 
(1908), Vol. II, pp. 181-190. 

Ibid. pp. 633-444. 

Local State and County Records. 

U. S. Census, 1910, Vol. V. Agriculture, and Statistical Atlas. 

Zon, R.: "Future Use of Land in the United States," Circular 159, Forest Service, U. S. Department of 

* The several geographic divisions are shown on map 7, and include States as follows: 
New England.— Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. 
Middle Atlantic— New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania: 
East North Central.— Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin. 

West North Central.— Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas. 
South Atlantic— Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Georgia, Florida. 
East South Central.— Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi. 
West South Central.— Louisiana, Arkansas. Oklahoma, Texas. 

Mountain.— New Mexico, Arizona. Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho. 
Pad/ic.— Washington, Oregon, California. 

1 The several geographic divisions are shown on map 7, page 53. 



Table 3. — Area of the United States, etc. — Continued. 

Land outside of farms. 

Geographic) division.** 









and other. 


Total United States 



4a o 



New England 






IS. 9 




Middle Atlantic 


East North Central 


West North Central 




South Atlantic 


East South Central 


West South Central 







46 1 


14 1 

o The several geographic divisions are shown on map 7, and include States as follows: 
NwEtytojd'—Mtipa, New Hampshire, Vermont. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. 
Middle Atlantic.— New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. 
East North Central.— Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan. Wisconsin. 

West North Central— Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas. 
South Atlantic.— Delaware, Maryland. District of Columbia. Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina. Georgia, Florida. 
East 8outh Central.— Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi. 
West South Central,— Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas. 

Mountain,— New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho. 
Pacific.— Washington, Oregon, California. 

6 The swamp lands here included are for the most part covered by some form of forest growth. 

These land classes require some brief explanation : 

The area of the country is first divided into " land in farms " (46 
per cent) and " land not in farms " (54 per cent) . 

Improved land in farms — including both cultivated and pasture 
land — covers about one- fourth of the total area of the country, and 
one-half the area in farms. It covers about 478 million acres, as 
shown in column C. Of this acreage about 50 per cent is in the 
grain belt above mentioned and 20 per cent in the southern coastal 

Unimproved land in farms consists of the unbroken fields, the 
neglected fields, the "brush lots," the "stump lots," the undrained 
marshes, the sand plains, and the other waste spaces found within 
the farm bounds. This land covers nearly 210 million acres (column 
D) . Of this acreage nearly 50 per cent consists of unbroken fields and 
prairie land in the Great Plains region from the Dakotas to Texas. 

Woodland in farms covers 191 million acres (column E). Of 
this acreage about 65 per cent is in the Southern States and 20 per 
cent in the North Central States. 

The remaining land classes are outside of farms. 

Timber, cut-over, and swamp lands cover nearly 395 million acres 
(column 6). Data are not available for separating, in any reliable 
way, the three types of land comprised in this class. 



At least a fourth of the above acreage is covered by virgin timber, 
this being chiefly in the Rocky Mountain and the Pacific States. 















Most of the forest areas, however, have been cut over to greater or 
less extent, the cuttings varying from light culling to complete " skin- 



ning." The cut-over lands, therefore, vary from u stump-lands n to 
areas fairly heavily timbered. 

The permanent swamp land here included covers nearly 53 million 
acres, according to studies made by the Department of Agriculture. 1 
Most of this is covered more or less by forest growth, though a portion 
of it consists of open marsh land. 

An extra area (not here included) consists of wet grazing land aoid 
of other lands which become periodically swampy or overflowed. The 
Department of Agriculture estimates this area to be about 26 million 
acres, which, with the above acreage of permanent swamp, makes a 
total of 79 million acres of wet lands in the country. Seven-tenths 
of these wet lands are in the Southern States and half of the re- 
mainder in the northern Lake States. 

The irrigable area (column H) covers 40 million acres along the 
valleys in the western half of the country. Probably less than half of 
this is in the remaining public domain. In addition to this irrigable 
area, it is estimated that about 20 million acres have already been irri- 
gated. The 1910 Census places the irrigated acreage at 13,738,000, 
distributed among the various geographic divisions as follows: West 
North Central, 367,000 acres; West South Central, 169,000 acres; 
Mountain, 9,518,000 acres; and Pacific, 3,684,000 acres. 

The range covers 510 million acres, or over one- fourth of the total 
area of the country (column I). This consists of land actually used 
for open grazing outside of farm units, or else capable of such use to 
greater or less extent. Most of it is in the " semiarid region," though 
many million acres of it occur in the western mountains, mixed with 
the forest growth. 

The " barren and other" land covers about 80 million acres (column 
J). This class consists chiefly of the permanently barren land 
scattered throughout the country. The largest single body of such 
land is in the Arizona and California desert. Many patches of 
desert land also extend through the Great Basin and elsewhere in the 
semiarid region. Permanently barren areas consist also of the 
alpine crests of most mountain ranges, of swamps that can not profit- 
ably be drained, of sterile sand plains unfit even for forest growth, 
and of other waste places which for one reason or another are unre- 
claimable. In addition to the barren land, there are upward of five 
million acres occupied by cities and towns, besides a small per- 
centage used for mining operations and miscellaneous purposes not 
named above. Such areas, together with the unreclaimable barren 
places, constitute this class of " barren and other " land. 

1 From " Swamp Lands of the United States," a letter (Apr. 20, 1908) from the Secre- 
tary of Agriculture to the Senate, published as S. Doc No. 443, 60th Cong., 1st sesa 





A number of estimates 1 have been made which bear on the possible 
future or potential acreages to be devoted to the several main uses of 
land in this country. On the basis of these estimates a statement has 
been prepared of the area of the United States according to potential 
land classes and geographic divisions. This statement is given in 
Table 4: 

Table 4. 

Area of the United States by potential land classes and geographic divisions. 
(AH areas are given in million acres.) 

Geographic division. & 

Total United States 

New England 

Middle Atlantic 

East North Central 

West North Central 

South Atlantic 

East South Central 

West South Central 



Geographic division.** 

Total United States. 

New England 

Middle Atlantic 

East North Central. 
West North Central. 

South Atlantic 

East South Central.. 
West South Central. 


land area. 









Possible farm land. 










and im- 



















Remaining land. 


















and other. 







a Tables 3 and 4 have been compiled from figures given in sources enumerated in footnote under Table 3, 
b The several geographic divisions are shown on map 7, and include States enumerated in footnote 6. 
Table 3, on page 51. 


The land classes shown in the several columns require (as with 
Table 3) some brief explanation : 

The last two columns in Table 4 (columns G and H) are identical 
with the last two columns in Table 3 (columns I and J). In both 

1 See footnotes to Tables 3 and 4. 


tables the "barren and other" land includes all areas for miscel- 
laneous use as above described and all areas which it is not profit- 
able to reclaim for any purpose, whether by irrigation, drainage, or 
other means. In both tables also the "range" refers to grazing 
land, where stock is run over broad areas, as against pasture land 
which forms part of the farm unit. The range here considered is 
limited to the western half of the country, and occurs, as already 
stated, chiefly in the semiarid region and partly in the mountain 
zone. It is assumed that the whole of the 510 million acres (as given 
in each table) can be used to some extent for grazing purposes, 
though at present only a portion of this area is so used. All land in 
the United States, therefore, not included as " range n or as " barren 
and other land " is assumed to be profitable for growing either farm 
or forest crops. 

The possible farm land is estimated to cover 953 million acres, 
or half the total area of the country. This area is distributed 
among the several geographic divisions as shown in column B. The 
improved and improvable acreage (for cultivation and pasture) is 
863 million, as shown in column C. The remaining 90 million acres 
of farm land are allowed for woodlots (column D). Outside of 
farms, the potential forest acreage is estimated at 360 millions 
(column F). 

In section 3 the present land utilization of the United States was 
indicated on map 6 by means of six classes of territory. In this sec- 
tion the potential land utilization of the country will be indicated 
by six classes of territory equivalent to those above described. The 
locations of these classes can be given in general terms but no attempt 
is made to show them in map form. The potential classes referred to 
are the following: 

Class (1) territory. — Of this more than 75 per cent will consist 
of land improved for farming; the remainder (less than 25 per 
cent) will consist chiefly of farm woodlots or of timber tracts out- 
side of farm limits. It is assumed that any included "woodland, 
cut-over timberland, swamp land, unbroken prairie, range, and 
waste land " described above in connection with map 6, is going to 
be turned either into improved farm land or else into forest land 
under forestry management. But part of the territory will be, of 
course, permanently unreclaimable either for farming or for forest 
purposes. Thus the "barren or other land" above described will 
form part of the remaining 25 per cent of this class (1) territory. 
Such land indeed will make up also some portion of each of the 
classes of territory described below. 

The bulk of class (1) territory will be contained in the future 
grain belt which will probably extend from New York State through 


the Central States into the Dakotas on the north and into Texas on 
the south. Isolated portions of this class will occur also on the flood 
plains of the lower Mississippi and other main rivers crossing the 
Southern Coastal Plain, as well as in the main valleys of the far 
Western States where the land will be reclaimed through irrigation. 
Perhaps one-half of the 863 million acres of improved and improv- 
able farm land shown in Table 4 will be included in this class (1) 

Class (#) territory. — Of this, not less than 50 nor more than 75 
per cent will consist of land improved for farming; the remainder 
(not less than 25 nor more than 50 per cent) will consist chiefly of 
farm woodlots and timber tracts. Here, as with the class (1) terri- 
tory (and with the other classes), it is assumed that all forest land 
will be under forestry management. And, as already explained, 
part of the land here and in other classes of territory will consist 
of " barren and other " land. A large portion of this class (2) terri- 
tory will probably be contained in the Southern Coastal Plain be- 
tween Virginia and Texas, where over half of the 90 million acres 
allowed for woodlots will be included. 

Class {3) territory. — Of this, from 25 to 50 per cent will be im- 
proved; the remainder (50 to 75 per cent) will consist chiefly of 
timber and grazing land. Hence in this class there will be more 
timber and grazing land than improved farm land. All grazing 
land is assumed to be under range management just as all timber 
land is assumed to be under forestry management. In this class (3) 
territory the timber land will occur in the eastern half of the United 
States, and the grazing land in the western half. Nearly one- fourth 
of the 360 million acres of forest land (outside of farms) will here 
be included in the rough and rolling portions of the Southern Pied- 
mont region, the Northern Lake States, the New England States, and 
other sections of the East. About one- fourth of the 510 million acres 
of range land will here be included in the Great Plains region extend- 
ing from Texas to the Dakotas and Montana. 

Class (4) territory will lie wholly in the eastern half of the United 
States. Lfcss than 25 per cent of it will consist of improved land; 
the remainder (more than 75 per cent) will consist chiefly of timber- 
land. This class (4) territory, of comparatively small area, will be 
limited to only a few regions — the swampy but timbered sections of 
Florida and the southeastern coast, the sandy sections of New Jer- 
sey and Cape Cod, the sandy and swampy portions of upper Michi- 
gan, the rocky portions of northeastern Minnesota, and the swampy 
and rocky portions of New England. 

Class (5) territory will lie wholly in the western half of the 
United States and in the semiarid region. Less than 20 per cent of it 


will be in farms; the remainder (more than 80 per cent) will consist 
largely of grazing land. About two-thirds of the 510 million acres 
of range land will be included, as well as over two-thirds of the 
80 million acres of " barren and other " land. 

Class (6) territory coincides completely with the " mountain zone" 
(in both halves of the United States). More than 90 per cent of it 
will consist chiefly of timber and grazing land, the remainder (less 
than 10 per cent) will be improved for farming. About half of the 
360 million acres of forest land (outside of farms) will be included. 


The main lines of past development in the United States from 
original to present conditions of land utilization have been traced in 
section 2. Presumable future changes in land development may now 
be indicated approximately by comparing the differences between the 
data shown in section 3 on present conditions of land utilization 
and those shown in section 4 on potential conditions. 

Of the four main classes of land — farm, forest, range, and barren— 
the first two only are considered. It is estimated, as shown in Tables 
3 and 4, that the present and potential areas of the open range lands 
and of the "barren and other" lands are the same. Industrial 
changes will, of course, occur on the range land, these consisting of 
the enlargement of the area to be profitably grazed. But no estimates 
are here made with regard to this development. 

(a) Farm land. 

The total acreage of potential farm land in the United States is 
estimated in Table 4 to be 953 million, including cultivated, pasture, 
and farm woodlot areas. The land here referred to is distributed at 
present about as follows : 


Now in farms 

Already improved 

Not yet improved 

In farm woodland 

Now not in farms 

Now timbered or cut-over land, or unreclaimed swamp land. 
Irrigable but not irrigated 













According to this statement, an area of 478 million acres, or half 
the total future farm land of the country, is already improved, while 
475 million acres remain to be developed. 


Some 390 million acres will be developed from within present farm 
limits. About one-fourth of this acreage will probably come from 
unimproved farm land in the dry farming belt along the Great Plains 
from western Texas to the Dakotas, and another fourth from present 
farm woodland on the Southern Coastal Plain from eastern Texas 
to Virginia. 

Eighty-five million acres, it is estimated, will be developed from all 
land at present outside of farm limits. The 40 million acres of irri- 
gable land will occur in the far western valleys ; perhaps 25 million 
more can be made available from the swamp lands and timbered and 
cutover lands of the Southern Coastal Plain, between 10 and 12 mil- 
lion from similar lands in the northern Lake States, and another 
8 or 9 million from logged-off and swamp lands in the Pacific Coast 
and the Rocky Mountain regions. 

But these 85 million acres do not comprise the total area of irri- 
gable, swamp, and cutover lands. Many areas within present farm 
limits consist of one or another of these classes of land, although 
they are classed now as " unimproved " or " farm woodland." The 
total area of these three kinds of land now lying idle but capable of 
development for farm purposes is estimated at 100 million acres. 

(b) Forest land. 

The total area of forest land and woodland in the United States 
is at present about 565 million acres, 190 million being in farms and 
375 million outside of farms. The total future forest area of the 
country will be about 450 million acres, 90 million estimated to be in 
farm woodlots and 360 million outside of farms. According to 
these estimates, then, the forest area of the country is to be decreased 
by about 115 million acres, this area being converted into improved 
farm land. The bulk of this reduction will be made in the 190 mil- 
lion acres of present farm woodland. 

Almost all of the potential woodlot area of the country (90 million 
acres) will be formed out of present farm woodland. The figures in 
Table 4 indicate that almost 10 per cent of the potential farm land of 
the United States will be occupied by woodlots, though the propor- 
tion will vary in different regions. It will be lowest (less than 5 per 
cent) in the " central prairies " west of the Mississippi River. The 
woodlots here will be largely for wind protection and most of them 
will have to be planted. The proportion will be largest (about 20 per 
cent) in the New England, the Southern Atlantic, and the Gulf 

Of the 360 million acres of potential forest outside of farms it is 
estimated that about half, or 180 millions, will occur within the 
w mountain zone," the other 180 million occurring outside of the 
nwmtain zone and in the form of timber tracts between the farms. 


These tracts can be managed as State, town, and city forests. About 
50 per cent of the acreage within such tracts will occur in the South- 
ern States (from Virginia to Texas), about 20 per cent in the north- 
ern half of the Lake State region, and another 20 per cent in the 
Northeastern States. Throughout most of New England and parts 
of the middle Atlantic group, though these States are thickly popu- 
lated, the farm-land acreage is at present actually decreasing and 
much of the land is reverting to forest growth. 

It is an open question whether the farm woodlots will become uni- 
versally a permanent part of the farm unit or whether they will 
become added gradually to the " timber tracts between the farms. 51 
From a physical standpoint the woodlot could be made a very impor- 
tant and useful feature of the farm unit. It could be made to yield 
a permanent crop of fuel wood, of wood for fencing and other domes- 
tic purposes, and of timber for the general market ; its uses for pro- 
tection from the wind and sun and for landscape purposes could be 
greatly extended. It is quite possible, however, that it is not going 
to be profitable from an economic standpoint for the individual 
farmer to attempt to grow a crop like timber, requiring a long time 
to mature. It may be, therefore, that the bulk of forest land within 
the farming sections, if it is to be used under forestry principles 
at all, will have to be handled by the town or State, or possibly under 
some form of cooperative organization of farmers. 

Of the remaining 180 million acres of potential forest included in 
the " mountain zone " about 80 per cent will be in the western moun- 
tain ranges. The Pacific Northwest, including the Sierras, Cascades, 
and northern Rockies, contain the heaviest of the mountain softwood 
timber, and this region is at present the chief remaining "timber 
reservoir" for the Nation. About 10 per cent of the 180 million 
acres will be in the southern Appalachians, the chief future " reser- 
voir " for hardwood timber. 


In any utilization of land designed for the real benefit of return- 
ing soldiers and other workers there are required a few basic prin- 
ciples which, whether or not they meet with general approval, should 
nevertheless be specifically stated at the outset. This is necessary 
in order to insure a common meeting ground, for unless the ends to 
be attained in developing any policy are made clear from the start 
there is always danger of misunderstanding, of working at cross 
purposes, and of cooperation upon a false basis. The soldiers and 
workers whose occupations have been dislocated by the war are not 
looking for privileges nor an " easy time," but it goes without saying 
that they should have every possible opportunity for making a good 
living with normal labor effort. 

The principles considered relate to the use of natural resources 
in general. This is implied from the definition of "land" herein 
given. In this report, however, matters relating particularly to the 
use of mineral lands or the water resources are not taken up except 
incidentally. Attention is limited to the possibilities of making new 
opportunities for employment by developing those classes of land 
which form the bulk of the country's area — the agricultural and 
forest lands. Before taking up either of these separately the term 
" land " and the principle of its " highest use " will first be briefly 




" Land " in its broadest economic sense refers to any area of the 
earth's surface and the raw materials or natural resources therein 
contained. The main classes of natural resources are soils, forests, 
ores, and waters. Each of these and the bare land surface itself 
have their particular uses: 

(1) Soils — for farming and grazing. 

(2) Forests and forest growth — used not only for the production 
of wood and timber but for the protection and regulation of stream 

(3) Ores or minerals — for building, fuel, fertilizer, and other 

(4) Waters or stream flow — having four main uses: Sanitation, 
irrigation, navigation, power. The use of water involves the prob- 



lems of storage, drainage, and river regulation generally; it involves 
also the fisheries industry. 

The main uses of land surface as such (aside from the resources 
contained) are for roads and transportation facilities; for building 
purposes, industrial and residential; and for parks and recreation 

On the basis of the above analysis the land area of this country 
may be classified for use as follows: 

Farming land — which will ultimately occupy, as already explained, 
about one-half the area of continental United States. 

Grazing land — more than one- fourth the area of the United States. 

Forest land — which will take up the largest part of the remaining 
fourth of the country. 

Mining land — occupying scattered areas of trivial proportions. 

Water surfaces (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and inlets) — occupying 
also a very small proportion of the country's total area. 

Urban, town, and town-site land — less than 1 per cent of the coun- 
try's total area, though including probably much more than half of 
the country's total land values. 

Recreation land — included either in urban land as parks or in forest 
land, or else specially reserved in national parks or monuments. The 
total area of such national reservations in the United States is at 
present over 6 million acres. 

The area used for roads and transportation facilities and by small 
streams in water power and other developments is proportionately 
very small indeed and is assumed to be absorbed, as needed, in the 
above land classes. 

The industries taking the primary part in developing natural re- 
sources may be called the extractive or land industries. The main 
ones are the following : 

Farming of various kinds — (wheat growing, dairying, orcharding, 
truck gardening, poultry raising, cotton growing, etc.) — conducted 
within comparatively small farm limits. 

Grazing or the stock industry, the raising of cattle, horses, sheep, 
etc., conducted for the most part over extended areas on the open 
range of the West. 

The forest industry — at present in this country consisting of the 
lumber industry, but gradually being replaced by forestry. 

Mining and quarrying — for iron, granite, coal, phosphate, etc. 

The fisheries industry — conducted in the various bodies of water. 

The utilization of land, to be complete, involves all of the natural 
resources, land classes, and extractive industries above enumerated, 
but, as already stated, attention in this report will be limited almost 
wholly to the resources of agricultural soil and forest growth. 



To which of the main uses of land just enumerated should a 
given area be put? The general answer to this question is given, 
so far as the worker is concerned, in the organic act creating the 
Department of Labor where the purpose of the department is 
laid down. A piece of land should be put to that use which will, 
consistently with the interest of the public as a whole, provide the 
most " profitable employment " to the worker. 

There seem to be certain requisites for profitable employment. 
These may have to be applied in different ways in different industries. 
As far as possible there should be safe and healthful working condi- 
tions. Some definite rate of wages, determined with respect to char- 
acter of work and cost of living, should be recognized in each case as a 
minimum limit below which compensation should not fall. Some 
basic working-day, whether eight hours or other limit, should be 
recognized in each case as a maximum period beyond which work 
should not continue except under particular conditions, including an 
increased wage rate. Labor effort should be conserved and efficiency 
stimulated. Increased efficiency and saving of labor should, as far as 
practicable, be made to result in reducing the working day, and 
thereby enlarging the opportunity for employment. 

The application of these principles to farming is different from 
that to other industries. The cost of living for the worker in gen- 
eral industry is usually higher than that for the farmer, and his 
wage therefore should be proportionately higher. The income of 
the farmer for his labor is not customarily called a " wage," though 
it is, of course, the equivalent thereof. The gross money return of 
the farmer should be enough to pay him the equivalent of a fair 
wage in addition to the various farming expenses and fixed charges. 
The farmer's working day is usually far in excess of eight hours and 
his compensation should be judged accordingly. 

A " fair wage," for the purposes of this report, may be defined as 
an arbitrary rate of compensation determined upon the basis of aver- 
age real wages in the locality for the particular kind of work, such 
compensation being agreed upon by the interests affected. The term 
tt real wages " refers to the ratio of actual paid wages to the cost of 
living. What is herein meant as the farmer's " wage " is the residual 
of gross returns from the farm after all running expenses and fixed 
charges have been met. This residual is equivalent to the actual paid 
wage in general industry. 

Whether a given acre or area of land is chiefly valuable for farm- 
ing or grazing or forestry or mining depends for one thing upon 


the net money return, above fixed charges, which the particular in- 
dustry will yield on the area from a given expenditure of labor. If, 
in the long run and from the same amount of labor effort, more 
money is to be earned from fanning the area than from growing 
timber thereon, it may be said to be chiefly valuable for farming; 
that is, farming would prove to be more profitable employment than 

In no case, from the worker's standpoint, should land be used for a 
purpose which will not yield a fair wage for a fair day's work. If 
the equivalent of wages made from farming a piece of land is found 
to be less than the minimum required to maintain a proper standard 
of living, such land should obviously not be used for farming. Farm- 
ing in such case would not be profitable employment. But land of 
this kind will often produce a growth of timber with little or no 
expenditure of labor effort, and when this is so it may provide profit- 
able employment as permanent forest land. There are, however, 
many millions of acres in the country where the land is so barren 
that neither a farm nor a forest crop would provide profitable em- 
ployment. Unless such land contains valuable minerals it would in 
most cases be practically useless except perhaps for recreation pur- 

When an area of land developed for agriculture, forestry, or other 
industry is sufficiently productive to make for the worker a fair wage 
for normal labor effort, such land has use and value for employment 
purposes. And the particular use — whether farming, forestry, min- 
ing, etc, — whereby the land is made to yield the most profitable em- 
ployment may be called from the standpoint of the worker, its " high- 
est use." 

But land may yield a service other than supplying products and 
providing directly for employment. Thus forest land besides supply- 
ing timber products may yield quite as important service in aiding 
the regulation of water resources. Where the permanence and sta- 
bility of river and stream flow depend upon a forest cover on the 
steep, mountainous portions of the watershed, these lands, properly 
protected by forest growth and including possibly areas devoted to 
artificial reservoirs, are chiefly valuable for purposes of water storage 
and regulation. The highest use of such forest lands is for protective 

And whatever may be the ultimate or potential use of a land area, 
it is likely originally to be in a condition quite different from that 
required for its highest use. Much fertile farming land may at 
present be covered with a growth of timber, or with stumps, or with 
swamp waters, or else be in an arid condition. Then some land is 
permanently barren — as desert lands and areas of rock in the moun- 
tains. And so land may be classified according to its actual condi- 


tion.) as timbered, or "stump land," or "swamp," or "barren," or 
"cultivated." The highest use of a given area depends, therefore, 
not only upon its intrinsic quality, but upon its immediate condition 
and the possibilities of changing it. It depends also upon the dis- 
tribution of the different kinds and conditions of land. Thus highest 
use is a matter not alone of topography or soil fertility, but of cer- 
tain economic questions as well. 

Fertile soil, for instance, may exist in a locality which happens to 
be timbered, but if it occurs in unduly small proportions or occurs in 
patches too widely separated, it might be very poor economy to 
attempt to clear and cultivate it. In such a case the locality as a 
whole would probably be chiefly valuable for its forest growth. But 
even if the locality consisted mostly of fertile land, if the crops 
which will grow there can not be marketed, it would be an economic 
mistake to put it to farm use. In this case also it would be chiefly 
valuable for forest growth, at least until such time as there promised 
to be a market sufficient to absorb the agricultural crops. 

But, again, a timbered locality or one in stumps may have a large 
proportion of fertile land and a good market for its potential crops 
and yet be wholly unsuited to agriculture. This happens when, the 
labor of removing the stumps and making the land cultivable is too 
great. In many cases the cost of "stumping" land is prohibitive 
merely for the lack of proper credit facilities; but, in other cases, 
it may be prohibitive under any circumstances. This means that the 
labor of "stumping" the land (even under an adequate credit sys- 
tem) does not constitute profitable employment. Such land being 
fertile would be capable of growing timber, and so this, and not 
farming, would probably be its highest use; and labor so expended 
would probably constitute profitable employment. It is not enough, 
then, merely to pronounce an area as being " agricultural land " or 
even " fertile land " ; any truly useful classification of land must de- 
termine which, within reasonable probability, is profitable agricul- 
tural land — profitable, of course, to the farmer himself who works 
the land. If it does not provide profitable employment as farm land 
(or until it does) it should be left for growing forests or put to 
some use which does assure profitable employment. 

The specific test of the Secretary of Labor for determining what 
is profitable agricultural land has already been given. See page 19. 

section a 


These principles relate to the following matters: (a) Community 
cooperation, (6) reclamation, (c) ready-made farms, (d) credit, 
(e) limitation of farm areas, (/) land tenure. Each of them is 

118860°— 19 5 


embodied as a main feature of the land legislation of Australia. 
This legislation is probably as far advanced as any on the globe, 
and the conditions for which it has been made resemble very closely 
those on the American continent. 

(a) Community cooperation. 

One of the corner stones in American agricultural development 
is now being laid. This is the growing idea of community coopera- 
tion. Though somewhat new in this country it has been long estab- 
lished in several foreign countries. But in the United States it is 
developing into a Nation-wide movement. It applies to the market- 
ing of crops, the buying of supplies, to insurance, the obtaining 
of credit, and to other economic needs; it applies also to tfye vari- 
ous pressing social needs of rural life. For the most part in the 
past the individual farm has been in America the unit of agricul- 
tural development, and the only unit with a purpose. The com- 
munity, as such, has had no purpose ; it has merely occurred where 
the farms become thickest — it has " just growed," like Topsy. The 
new idea reverses this emphasis. Under the cooperative principle 
the unit of development is not the farm but the community. 

There was a time when the ideal of the " independent " farmer 
seemed to be to emulate the independence of the possessor of an 
isolated island. But the practical, everyday need of the farmer is 
breaking him away from this old theory. Farmers generally are be- 
ginning finally to realize the import of the American tradition, " hang 
together or hang separately." Only by holding together in a group 
can these hard-working citizens hold their own with the outside world. 
This they are learning fast. And not only their material welfare but 
their social and spiritual welfare, demands an end to a needless rural 
isolation. Hence the demand for the development of the rural com- 
munity as a definite thing — as a concrete organism and not an assem- 
blage of conflicting interests. 

Aside from cooperation among the farmers themselves in the mar- 
keting of their produce, and in securing other economic needs, there 
are one or two other requisites of a true community life. One of these 
consists of proper school, church, and educational facilities. These 
are needed by the new community as a part of its original equipment, 
just as the house and the barn are needed by the ready-made farm as 
part of its original equipment. 

Another requisite consists of definite facilities for social develop- 
ment. In this connection a movement is progressing in the country 
at large to make the schoolhouse the center of community educa- 
tion. This applies to adults as well as to children, and training in 
self-government is the first subject on the list. It is maintained that 
education and the franchise should go hand in hand and that the func- 


tion of the public school should be enlarged to include the public 
forum. There could be perhaps no better opportunity for working 
out this principle than that offered by the new agricultural com- 
munity freed from dogmatic precedents, and building itself in a fresh 

Closely connected with the social development of the community is 
the working out of a healthful and proper system of recreation. A 
movement is now well started in the country for establishing commu- 
nity theaters and dramatic presentations in connection with the school 
and the public forum, the object being to secure a social center in 
which is reflected the full life of the community. 

(b) Reclamation. 

Four-fifths of the estimated 475 million acres to be developed for 
agriculture in this country are within present farm limits ^nd near 
the populous centers. The remaining fifth, as already described, 
consists of the arid, swamp, and cut-over lands in the far West, on 
the Southern Coastal Plain, and in the Great Lakes region. It goes 
without saying that a sane land system would provide for developing 
the near regions before the remote regions. The latter, however, as 
a matter of fact are being opened up. This development, therefore, 
should be guided in a way to secure, as far as possible, opportuni- 
ties for profitable employment rather than the reverse. The prob- 
lems of reclamation apply particularly to these undeveloped areas 
which may be divided into three classes : 

(1) Arid and semiarid lands, which are reclaimed through 

irrigation ; 

(2) Swamp and overflow lands, reclaimed by drainage; 

(3) Cut-over and logged-off lands, reclaimed by clearing of 

trees and stumps. 

The cost of reclaiming many of these lands is too high to result in 
profitable farming, and so their highest use is of nonagricultural 
character. Many of the logged-off lands can be used for growing 

Reclamation might appropriately be called "land making," or 
more accurately farm making. To convert a water surface into a 
land surface, is for practical purposes, to create or make an area of 
land. Thus, a piece of land or a farm can be " made " by draining a 
pond or swamp. A farm can also be made by uncovering an area 
from the burden of left-over trees, logs, and stumps. Under these 
circumstances the future farm may be considered as a buried treas- 
ure — an area of potential productivity buried beneath swamp waters 
or logging debris. And again for all practical purposes a farm is 
made when an arid area is supplied with water through irrigation. 


But to reclaim land and to really make a farm it is not sufficient 
merely to supply the area with water, or to drain off the water, or 
to clear off the stumps. These are only the first crude steps. The 
mistake has been made in this country of thinking that these steps 
constituted sufficient and complete reclamation — that when land 
was irrigated, drained, or cleared the farms would be ready for use. 
What is meant by complete reclamation may be shown by describing 
incomplete reclamation. A striking picture of the latter is given 
by Dr. Elwood Mead, a leading authority on land colonization in 
America and Australia. He assumes for illustration a thousand 
average settlers located on 50,000 acres representative of any typical 
irrigation project in western United States. He says: * 

These settlers will be confronted by the following conditions: Aside from 
the main irrigation canals and the unformed dirt roads they will find that 
everything required to transform a desert into productive farms remains to be 
done. The land must be cleared of brush. The farm unit must be fenced. A 
house for the family and stable for the work animals must be built; and pro- 
visions made for a water supply for household use. Not being familiar with 
local conditions, they will not be able to buy to advantage, and they will be 
under pressure to buy quickly. Many will be victimized with bad horses and 
poor cows. It was stated on one visit to a project in July last that settlers had 
to pay $27 a thousand feet for lumber that was being sold to those who could 
buy in carload lots for cash for $11 a thousand feet * * * 

Much of the land to be irrigated is uneven, requiring a large expenditure to 
prepare it to be watered properly. In places the wind has heaped the sand 
and dust in mounds which have to be leveled down, and settlers have testified 
that it has cost $100 an acre to level some land of this character. To smooth 
off the inequalities, prepare the checks and borders, and build the small dis- 
tributing ditches on a tract of 50,000 acres of land awaiting settlement will, on 
an average, cost somewhere between one and two million dollars, and that 
expenditure is just as essential to growing crops as the building of canals to 
provide the water. 

To leave this costly preparatory work to be done by the settler who lacks 
experience, implements, and practical skill involves a ruinous waste of money 
and time. Nothing could be more inefficient. Careful consideration will, I 
believe, convince anyone that making land ready for the application of water 
is as essential to reclamation as the building of the canals and reservoirs. 

The total cost of preparing the land for irrigation will, on the average, be 
as great as the cost of irrigation works; and the use of proper equipment, 
directed by practical knowledge and skill in preparing the land, would be just 
as advantageous as it has been to have the irrigation work carried out by the 
Government under the direction of skilled engineers. 

The thousand settlers will require houses and some kind of farm buildings 
en each of these farms. If each one is left to buy his building material at 
retail, make his own design for the house, and hire carpenters If they can be 
found, as is now the practice, the following results will inevitably follow: 

The cost of the material will be far greater than it would be if these houses 
were built by one authority who was able to buy the material at wholesale 

1 Hearings before the Committee on Labor, XT. S. House of Representatives, on the 
Grosser colonization bill, pt. 2, Dec 15, 20, 1916, pp. 87 and 88. 


and pay cash for it. There will be many freak houses, lacking durability and 
comfort and detracting from the appearance of the district. 

The time of the settler, which ought to be taken up with farm work, will 
be given over to bargaining for material, hunting for a builder, and doing 
things that a properly organized central office could attend to more effectively 
at one-tenth the cost. One thousand houses and an equal number of barns to 
shelter live-stock will cost at least $1,500,000 if any attention is given to dura- 
bility and comfort A saving of 50 per cent in value to settlers will result 
from having this done under one competent authority, according to a sys- 
tematic plan. 

This is not all that will be gained by the creation of ready-made farms in 
accordance with the plans outlined in this bill. If the settlers bring families, 
these families must live while the house is being erected. If they board in 
the nearest towns, this involves great expense which becomes immediately a 
source of anxiety to the settler who sees the money he has accumulated for 
development being absorbed in living expenses. If in order to save this ex- 
pense the family attempts to live in tents while the house is being built, illness 
often results and this adds to the expense and discouragement of all con- 
cerned. I have seen the wives of settlers age 10 years in 10 months as a 
result of this disheartening struggle with obstacles which ought to have been 
removed and which will be if this bill, or one which carries out its principles 
and purposes, shall become a law. 

Only those who have had direct familiarity with our present unorganized 
and unplanned development can realize how inefficient and how costly it is. 

The conditions here described by Dr. Mead on the irrigation 
projects have their close counterpart on such areas as the cut-over 
lands of the northern Lake States and the logged-off lands of the 
North Pacific coast. Here also the reclamation is incomplete. The 
timber is removed in whole or in part. An acre or two on each farm 
is often cleared of stumps and a house and shed built by the land 
company. The company often stands ready to supply the incoming 
settler, without extra cost, with a limited supply of seed, fruit trees, 
poultry, etc. 

But most of the work of building the farm remains to be done. 
The bulk of the stumps must be removed. The powder used for 
blowing these out must usually be bought at retail, and its cost is 
needlessly high. Comparatively seldom is provision made for the 
use of efficient stump-pulling machinery. The settler can not, in the 
first years at least, make a living by working the farm, and so he is 
required during part of the time to get outside work at wages. But 
such employment is too often so far distant that the farm must be 
grossly neglected to earn the needed cash. Usually no provision is 
made for having farm equipment or live stock supplied at cost; and 
the expense entailed for these necessary things must either be met 
by immediate cash payments or else on short-term payments with 
interest rates around 8 or 10 per cent. And all this quite aside 
from the charges made for the use of the land itself. 


Reclamation in one sense, perhaps, can never become complete. 
With a farm, as with everything else, there is always room for im- 
provement. A farm may require a generation or more to reach its 
highest usefulness, but this is no reason why it should not be made 
ready for use before attempting to use it. 

(c) The "ready-made farm." 

The "ready-made farm" is one fully prepared for cultivation 
before settlement begins; it requires, in addition to such things as 
the ditching and clearing of land, the erection of the immediately 
essential buildings and improvements. On the ready-made farm 
the settler and his family can start their new life with a comfortable 
home for themselves and housing for their stock. The settler or 
agricultural worker should no more be expected to go upon the farm 
before it is made and equipped than the manufacturing worker 
should be expected to go into the factory before it is made and 

There are a great many cases, to be sure, where the settler in the 
ordinary course of his farm work, has days at a time (or hours at a 
time) when he could devote his energies more profitably to clearing 
up portions of his land than to any other use. Such periods might 
otherwise be wasted. Under these circumstances land clearing and 
other improvement work carried on at odd times by the settler singly 
(or with his neighbors) might prove to be the most efficient method 
of land clearing. The ready-made farm is one equipped and devel- 
oped to a point sufficient for starting business in a practicable way, 
but not one necessarily that is developed to finality. 

In sharp contrast, however, to such a common-sense procedure 
is the one which in this country has been usually adopted. The 
settler is expected to work his farm before it has been sufficiently 
prepared ; not to build a farm and then use it, but to do both together. 
The circumstances of the agricultural industry have forced the use in 
most cases of this makeshift scheme, something not tolerated in any 
other industry. 

In this connection the claim is often made by private colonizers 
and others that it is "cheaper" for the settler to clear his own 
land than to have the work done for him in accordance with plans 
for a ready-made farm ; that if enough area is cleared in advance to 
locatei buildings and a garden, so that the settler can begin farm- 
ing between the stumps, then it is cheaper for him to clear his land 
by himself at odd times as he goes along than for him to be burdened 
with the debt involved in large-scale stump-pulling operations. It 
is claimed that the large-scale operations often will not pay on 
land where the settler's single-handed methods will pay. Whether 


or not such claims are valid depends, of course, upon what is meant 
by " cheaper " and upon what is meant by " pay." 

Suppose the cost of clearing the stumps from a prospective farm, 
when cleared by an organized stump-pulling crew, is $150 an acre, 
and that $50 of this cost is for powder and machinery and $100 for 
direct labor paid for at some normal rate of wages (say 25 cents an 
hour) ; and suppose that the ultimate value of this land after it has 
been cleared is $100 an acre : 

Of course, it would not pay to invest $150 in land whose final value 
will not exceed $100. Nevertheless, some men claim that it might pay 
to clear such land if the settler does it himself. If, they say, the 
settler himself cleared the land as he went along, it would cost 
him only $50 an acre (the cost of powder and machinery), for he 
could put in his own labor and would not have to pay himself any- 
thing. Thus $100, the cost of labor at a given wage rate, is wholly 
saved. If this wage rate is $2.50 per day the operation of clearing 
1 acre would require one man's, time for 40 days ($100 divided by 
$2.50). If, then, the investor, as a financier, puts into the hundred- 
dollar land $50 in powder and machinery, and also puts in the money 
to pan/ for lfi days' labor ($100), then the operation will not pay; 
but (according to this reasoning) if the settler, as a worker, puts into 
the hundred-dollar land $50 in powder and machinery and also puts 
in the actual Ifi days 9 labor (worth $100) , then the operation will pay. 

Those who argue in this way probably have in their minds— ' 
perhaps unconsciously — that the ultimate value of the land will really 
be more than $100 an acre; that the value some time will even exceed 
$150, and hence that it might well pay the settler to put in labor now 
on which he can realize later. If this is so, then the same rule would 
apply to the investor who puts in his money instead of his labor. 
In the above illustration (where $100 is the true ultimate value of the 
land) the spending of money by the investor to pay for 40 days' 
labor would not be for him a profitable investment, and likewise 
the spending of 40 days' labor by the settler would not be for him 
profitable employment. 

It might be, however, that it is not possible in the particular pio- 
neering locality to obtain work at regular wages. It might be that 
the wage attainable in such a region is only half that possible to get 
for equivalent work in outside settled regions. Perhaps no local 
work whatever at paid wages is to be had. Such conditions have 
been in fact the typical ones in the pioneering frontier belt in its 
migration across the continent. The early pioneers — whether in the 
Ohio Valley or elsewhere — did not receive " wages " for their labor. 
But many if not most of those who succeeded in finally establishing a 
home and an opportunity to live on the soil probably felt repaid for 


their labors. During the years that the early pioneer was cutting 
a farm out of the wilderness he was establishing himself for life- 
he was paying for his farm, not in money but in labor. Why, then, 
should not the settler in this time as in old times, even though for a 
number of years he may receive far less than the equivalent of 
regular wages, be encouraged to develop his farm and establish him- 
self through the use of the single-handed methods ? 

The reason why the settler should not be required to develop his 
farm by these methods is simply because they involve usually a 
gross and needless waste — a waste of land, of time, and of human 
effort, and the sacrifice, in case of failure, of all that the settler has 
put into the project — years of toil besides the money investment. 
The labor required to build a farm in the early days of the Nation's 
development was greater than that required to-day in our more ad- 
vanced general development. The future opening of the land need 
not, with proper management, be subject to the heartbreaking handi- 
caps of the past. With proper management the settler of to-day 
need not lose the time and effort required in an earlier age. Methods 
in practice in the Australian and other countries show distinctly how 
to save this loss in time and energy. And the Nation has no labor 
to squander in the very necessary opening of its remaining lands 
for use. 

The ready-made farm is the tangible product of a policy of com- 
plete reclamation, for the latter is merely the preparation of land 
for actual use. If the agricultural worker deserves an even chance 
with the manufacturing worker, then the farm as well as the factory 
must be fully equipped before, not after, operations begin. From 
the standpoint of conserving land and resources, and especially from 
the standpoint of the conservation of human energy, agricultural 
reclamation should not be left half done. 

(d) Credit. 

The matter of reclamation was treated above chiefly from a me- 
chanical standpoint. Reclamation is a very old art and the me- 
chanics of it are far advanced, though the methods of large-scale 
land clearing and stump disposal are still somewhat in an experi- 
mental stage. But the mechanics of the problem is the smallest part 
of it. A more difficult question is that relating to credit or financial 
management — how to finance an operation for getting lands immedi- 
ately in a cultivable condition and to actually producing so that the 
cost can be spread over future years and taken out of the proceeds 
thus made available. 

A specific illustration of the problem of credit may be had by modi- 
fying somewhat the story of Robinson Crusoe's island. Considering 


this island as being arid or swamp or timberland, Crusoe would have 
to reclaim some portion of it before he could even begin to raise a 
crop for his own food. His single-handed methods under such condi- 
tions would be so inefficient that he would probably die of starvation. 
If, however, a crew of men came to him from some neighboring 
island to make the fertility of his land immediately available to him, 
he might well be enabled, by his own f uturfc labor, to live in comfort 
and gradually repay the equivalent of the labor done for him. He 
would not have the power to do the work of needed reclamation with- 
in the short time required, but he would have the power to do this 
work in a longer time. The crew would have donated him no labor 
power at all; it simply would have enabled him to concentrate his 
own labor power when and where a large quantity of it was needed. 

Here then are two forms of " self help ",: One is aided by outside 
civilization and the other is not ; one enables a man to make a living 
and the other does not. If Robinson Crusoe in this case were a tax- 
paying citizen of a central government located on the neighboring 
island, he would seem to have the right to demand that " the State " 
use its credit as a leverage to aid him in his own self-help. 

In canceling an immediate debt throughout a series of years, two 
kinds of payments are made: (1) the principal or actual amount of 
the original debt itself; (2) the interest on the portion of the prin- 
cipal remaining unpaid. The most systematic, business-like, and 
convenient way of canceling a debt during a number of years is to 
u amortize " it. By this method there is paid each year a stated sum 
or amortization charge, which is divided into two parts : One part 
consists of the interest on unpaid principal ; the other part consists 
of payment on the principal itself. As more and more of the prin- 
cipal is paid off from year to year, the amount paid for interest 
steadily diminishes, leaving a steadily increasing portion of the 
stated annual sum as the part devoted to retiring the principal. At 
the end of a given period (varying in the practice of foreign coun- 
tries from 40 to 75 years) the whole debt is canceled. By this method 
the settler is enabled to get the immediate use of a fully equipped 

Aside from the matter of high or low rates of interest, or cost of 
money, 1 efficient credit may be characterized as follows : 

(1) A system (or scheme) which provides the use of cash at the 

times and in the quantities needed ; 

(2) which amortizes the debt in the way above described; 

(3) which allows a period of amortization sufficiently long 

to keep the annual payments low enough to prevent 
needless hardship for the debtor : 

1 See section 11(b). 


(4) which provides for reasonably safe security through liens 
on the improvements made, the land improved or prop- 
erty purchased; and also by such other means as are 
afforded through the organization of local community 
credit associations. By the latter method the personal 
character of the settler, as well as the value of his prop- 
erty, is available as security for the payment of his 
The Government, or State, is the logical agent to provide a system 
of credit embodying these features, and is the agent now being used 
for this purpose in most of the world's enlightened countries. 

(e) Individual farm areas. 

Since the total amount of available farm land for the use of the 
people as a whole is and always will be limited, it may be said that 
the amount of it made available to the use of each man, or group of 
men, should also be limited. This principle is recognized, though 
sometimes crudely, in the land legislation of this and other coun- 
tries. Our homestead law (of 1862) provided for giving away to 
the individual settler — after certain requirements as to residence and 
improvements — 160 acres of public land. The basis of this limita- 
tion was the idea that this acreage was x>n the average sufficient for 
the support of the settler and his family. With arid land, a larger 
area was assumed to be necessary, and the desert land law (1877) 
allowed for taking 320 acres. 

The proper size for a farm depends of course not only upon the 
character of the land but upon its access to market. The truck 
garden in suburban territory may suffice with five acres; the dairy 
farm in rural territory needs an " eighty " or more according to the 
number of cows carried ; the combination of general farm and cattle 
ranch in semiarid territory will need several times that area ; while 
the true grazing industry requires some definite share of the open 
range. Some limit, however crudely determined, has long been 
favored as the correct principle in the appropriation of a farm area 
by any one land user. 

What seems to be needed is not a farm unit of rigid and arbitrary 
area, but one of flexible area. To say that a farm of given character — 
worked by an average family under a certain set of conditions — has 
too big an acreage means that the net income which is made by the 
family is less than if the land were further subdivided. To say that 
a farm has too small an acreage means that the full time and normal 
working power of the family is not wholly utilized. There is in any 
particular case some acreage, determinable in greater or less degree, 
which will fully utilize labor power and secure the maximum return 
for normal effort. Such an acreage would make the most efficient 
farm unit for a family. 



Considering the growth of cooperation among farmers, it may well 
be that the farm unit should be enlarged so as to provide for groups 
of users as well as for individual users. This would allow the advan- 
tages of large-scale and cooperative industry. There seems to be 
nothing objectionable in encouraging farmers thus to cooperate, so 
long as the actual workers on the soil get their full share of its 
proceeds and no exploitation is created either of labor or the food- 
consuming public. 

(f) Land tenure. 

The rights obtainable in a farm area should guarantee, first, 
security to the farmer and his family in the permanent use of the 
area, and, second, prevention of speculation in the right to such use. 
Rights of this kind can be given to the settler or farmer by possessing 
him with the proper title or " estate " in the land. Under the law of 
real property in the United States and in British countries there is 
no such thing, legally speaking, as the private ownership of the Txmd 
itself; the private possessor is said to have only what is called an 
estate in the land. The ultimate title to all land in English law is. 
" in the Crown " ; in this country it is " in the State." The so-called 
largest estate possible to alienate is the fee simple. But there are 
quite a number of other estates recognized in the law of real property ; 
some of these alienate only the right to use land ; others alienate also 
the right to barter land. 

The methods in certain Australian States for making land tenure 
secure are summed up by Dr. Elwood Mead as follows : * 

The State of Victoria found there was a tendency to speculate on the results 
of aid to settlers and to combine holdings after subdivision and again have non- 
resident ownership. It became necessary to insert conditions in land titles to 
prevent this. The plan adopted was for the State to retain title to the land for 
12 years, the settler to hold it under a purchase contract. If lie sold his interest 
he could only sell to some one approved by the State authorities and who was 
eligible under the land act, and that meant he must live on the land. The resi- 
dence condition is perpetual. After the settlers get their freehold title, either 
they or some member of their family must live on the land eight months of the 
year or it is subject to forfeiture. * * * 

In New South Wales they have a different system ; that State only gives a 
perpetual lease, * * * and the land is inherited by the settler's family 
exactly as it would be if he had a freehold title. 

Speaking of the farm tenure provided under the German land 
system, Dr. Mead says : 2 

At first these farms were leased to settlers. This was not a success. Then 
settlers were allowed to buy them outright or to pay for them as soon as 
possible. This also was unsatisfactory, because many of the settlers were dis- 

1 Hearings before the Committee on Labor, XJ. S. House of Representatives, on the 
Croo. or colonization bill, pt. 2, Dec. 15, 20, 1916, p. 118. 
* Ibid., p. 100. 


posed to speculate and sell out whenever a profit could be secured. Under the 
present system the settler is not required to make any cash payment on the land, 
but has it for 50 years with an annual payment of 3$ per cent interest on the 
total cost. He must also meet the requirements of the State regarding cultiva- 
tion and keeping up improvements, which are closely looked after. At the end 
of this 50-year period the payments on the land begin. 

Two plans, then, are used by foreign Governments for providing 
the settler with secure land tenure — the perpetual leasehold and the 
restricted freehold. With either plan some provision should always 
be made, in the case of the transfer of an allotment from one settler 
to another or to the State, for reimbursing the settler for permanent 
improvements made at his own expense. 

The opportunity to the individual 9ettler of using land without 
paying tribute is fundamental in the Labor Department's land 
policy. The utilization of this opportunity requires the elimination 
of another opportunity — that of speculating in the right to use 
land. And the only practicable way of eliminating such specula- 
tion seems to be to hold the land under such control that the indi- 
vidual title thereto is dependent upon occupancy and use. Other- 
wise this title will become in the future, as it has in the past, an 
object of barter and commerce ; and payment for rent or its equiva 
lent over and above legitimate returns exacted by the landowner 
from the land user. Such payment amounts to tribute paid for 
skill or luck in speculation ; it is collected by the holder of the fee- 
simple title. 

If, then, the settler himself holds the fee title (and without en- 
cumbrance) he is secure from the tribute described. But the same 
device — individual fee simple — that protects the owner from pay- 
ing tribute enables him to impose it upon others. There is nothing 
to prevent him from renting his land to another and exacting an 
unreasonable rental. And this is the too common practice. The 
system of individual fee simple is the basis of tenancy or its equivalent 
represented by a hopelessly small equity in the land. This system is 
general throughout the United States, and so is tenancy, or the 
equivalent thereof. 

Tenancy has been steadily increasing in the United States. In 
1880 the proportion of farms operated by tenants was 25.6 per cent; 
this percentage had risen in 1890 to 28.4, in 1900 to 35.3, and in 
1910 to 37. Of the improved farm acreage in 1900 (414.5 millions) 
53.4 per cent was owned by the occupants who actually operated it; 
this percentage had declined by 1910 to 48.9. But only a portion of 
the farms supposedly owned by their occupants and operators are 
free from mortgage. Of the 6,361,502 farms in the United States 
in 1910 only 2,621,283, or 41.2 per cent, were owned by the operators 
free from encumbrance. 


Any colony or community settlement based on individual fee 
titles is doomed at the start; it is only a question of time — and no 
long time — when it will disintegrate into individual earldoms and 
tenancy be enabled to get foothold. The way to preserve its in- 
tegrity and maintain a uniform system of individual use is for the 
colony itself or the State to hold the fee and thus control the indi- 
vidual use. 

Individual title dependent on use is a vital part of the land policy 
of the Secretary of Labor. He makes this point clear in the fol- 
lowing language i 1 

Settlers should likewise be protected from the evils of land speculation. 
The liberal grants of former years to soldiers were of almost no value to the 
supposed beneficiaries, because of the speedy transfer to persons who were 
primarily interested in the resale of such lands at higher prices. Speculation 
and inflation are evils which it has been found possible to correct in the 
experience of our associated belligerents. I therefore favor the adoption of 
some form of tenure which will lay less stress upon titles and more upon 
actual use by occupants. The absolute tenure does not seem to be well adapted 
to public colonization, since it is useless to the working settler and attractive 
to the speculator. There are several other forms of tenure, including the 
perpetual leasehold, better adapted for our purposes. 

The question of land tenure is considered below (sec. 11) from a 
somewhat different angle. 


These principles relate to the following: (a) Timber culture as 
against "timber mining," (b) permanent forest employment, and 
(c) stability of the forest community. Though applied in some 
considerable degree in several of the European countries, they have 
thus far made little headway in the United States. 

(a) Timber culture versus " timber 'mining." 

The migration of the lumber industry from ocean to ocean has 
already been briefly traced (pp. 48, 49). The logging process which 
is there shown to be passing in a sefies of waves across the country 
has had but one main purpose — to shovel out the timber. The in- 
dustry has been and still is conducted as a species of mining; the 
wood supply of the country has been treated as a deposit of timber 
aboveground, just as the iron supply must be treated as a deposit 
of ore underground. The lumber industry, as now generally con- 
ducted, is " timber mining," not timber culture. The latter on any 
appreciable scale has not been practiced in this country. 

The deposit of timber in a given valley or logging unit is soon 
worked out and the operation shifted to another location. Each 

1 Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor (1918), p. 221. 


operation is conducted from a logging camp located usually for only 
a few months at any one place. At some central point, the focus of 
several logging operations, stands a giant sawmill which is the 
center of a sawmill camp. In a few years the timber tributary to 
this center has been worked out and the mill machinery for the 
most part is ready to be junked. The whole enterprise, sawmill 
operation and logging operations, then moves into another locality, 
or perhaps goes out of business. In this way one valley after an- 
other has been cut off and left empty and one region after another 
largely depleted of its forest stock. Only a small portion of the 
young stock which should be growing is actually coming up. 

This condition is not the fault of any particular lumbermen. It 
is not to the interest, usually, of the private timber owner to grow 
wood as a crop. It takes from 40 to 100 years to grow such a crop, 
and the owner will not wait that long. So he harvests his timber 
capital as fast as the market allows instead of harvesting the timber 
income each year. There are several reasons why the timber owner 
prefers to "mine out" his capital of standing timber rather than 
attempt to grow a series of forest crops. One is the natural desire 
for a man to realize on his investment during his own lifetime. But 
in many cases he is specially stimulated to liquidate his forest in- 
vestment. The danger of fire, with the cost and uncertainty of fire 
protection, is one cause for this condition. Taxes on timber is an- 
other cause; and a suggested remedy for this is to levy the tax on 
the log after cutting, instead of on the standing tree. The payment 
yearly of 6 per cent interest on timber bonds, the equivalent of a 
mortgage on the forest stock, is another potent cause. This neces- 
sity in the case of many timber holders in the Pacific Northwest, where 
the lumber market is meager, compared with the supply, is creating 
a tendency toward bankruptcy. Some form of timber mining seems 
to be required in the interest of the private owner ; it is, of course, 
directly against the interest of the Nation. 

In striking contrast to this principle of timber mining is that of 
timber culture. This is the essence of forestry. It is not going to be 
possible, of course, in the long run to continue, as we have been do- 
ing, to cut more wood each year than grows each year. The Nation 
must either limit its annual timber cut to its annual timber growth 
or gradually deplete and dissipate its forest growth. All this is 
obvious, and has been many times pointed out. For every national 
interest, whether in peace or in war, the forest area within the Na- 
tion should be placed on a basis of continued or " sustained " yield. 
This requires some form of public ownership or control, and, fortu- 
nately, a start has been made in the national forests. 

A good illustration of the results of timber culture is presented 
in a cutting on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota, as 


shown in figure 3. The forest here is treated as a growing crop. 
Part of the trees have been cut out for lumber and fuel wood. 
The tree tops and brush have been piled for burning as a protection 
against forest fires. The remaining trees, after they have grown to 
maturity, will be cut as a second crop. 

A good illustration, on the other hand, of the results of " timber 
mining" is presented in a cutting in Bear Gulch, in California, as 
shown in figure 4. The forest here has been treated essentially as 
a wood deposit. All trees of immediate value have been cut out, 
nothing has been left standing except dead " snags," and no provi- 
sion whatever has been made for future growth. Indeed, provision 
has been made against such growth. Discarded logs, brush, and 
other debris have been left to form a fire trap, so that it is only a 
question of time when the gulch will be thoroughly burned out and 
rendered barren. 

And very much as the separate gulches and valleys have been 
" cut out," so have the various regions of the country at large been 
reduced in their forest stock and consequently in lumber produc* 
tion. This has been shown graphically by the series of curves in 
figure 2, on page 49. These curves show the lumber cut, by groups of 
States, in per cent of the total cut of the whole country; they run 
from the year 1850 to 1914. Except for a few virgin patches here 
and there, the whole of the original eastern forest has been cut over — 
in addition, that is, to what has had to be cleared for agriculture. 

Col. Henry Solon Graves, Chief of the United States Forest 
Service, in a recent address, presents in vivid manner the outlook 
before the country respecting the forest resources. He says : * 

The problem of supplies does not merely concern the amount and character 
of timber now standing. It concerns as well the production of new crops of 
timber by growth. I would have little concern about the amount of timber used 
if we were growing new stands in place of the old. We have enough nonagricul- 
tnral land to produce for all time lumber in abundance, for ourselves and for ex- 
port But this would require keeping our forests in a productive state after lum- 
bering. We are not doing that. Our forests are steadily deteriorating under 
catting and fire. No effort is made for replacement after cutting. Fire protec- 
tion is confined to old! timber. Young growth and cut-over lands are not being 
protected. Accidental stands following cutting and fire are generally poor in 
quality and species, and of low prospective yield. We are still drawing for the 
most part on original sources of supply. Failing to replace these, we are 
steadily losing ground. We are actually using up our forests, just as we would 
use up a deposit of coal, when we might have been renewing them. 

The question of forest renewal and growth is one that can no longer be 
Ignored. It is not only of interest to the public, but it is of vital concern to the 
owners of tlmberlands. It may be said that reserves of timber ought to be held 
by the public, rather than by private owners. A good many assert that the 
growing of timber is wholly a public function ; that as most timberland owners 

1 Address before the American Lumber Congress, Chicago, Apr. 16, 1910. 


have bought their property to exploit their timber, not to grow trees, forestry 
and forest growth are not matters of private concern. But the fact remains 
that the bulk of the timber of the country is privately owneo% three-fourths 
of it. It is an important fact, also, that the bulk of the land that must grow 
the timber of the future is privately owned. 

Col. Graves goes on to comment upon the folly of turning over to 

private individuals and corporations the bulk of the Nation's forests: 

The transfer of the great bodies of timber from public to private hands was 
a grave mistake of public policy. It is not possible to conceive of a method 
better calculated to bring about a rapid dissipation of our forests than was 
actually used by the Government in disposing of its timber lands, nor could a 
surer method have been devised to bring about a condition of Industrial un- 
certainty. The lands were parceled out as fast as possible in small lots and 
under conditions that inevitably encouraged speculation. It was only a question 
of time that every owner should undertake to dispose of his land or timber to 
realize on his speculation. We now see that a different method of administer- 
ing the public forests should have been adopted. 

(b) Permanent forest employment. 

The securing of a continuous timber supply, the regulation of 
stream flow, and the other essential objects usually associated with 
forestry, form only a portion of the problem of utilizing the forest 
resource. The substitution of timber culture for timber mining 
should have also a fundamental effect upon the social and labor con- 
ditions in the forest industry. As already stated, lumbering as now 
carried on is a tramp industry and is therefore a breeder or tramps. 

The lumber-jack as characterized by the late Carlton Parker is 
" womanless, voteless, and jobless." 

According to estimates made by the California Commission of Im- 
migration' and Housing there were in 1915 living in labor camps in 
that State 75,000 persons, exclusive of farm laborers. On this basis 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1 estimates that there were at least 
100,000 workers in the various kinds of labor camps — logging, min- 
ing, and other camps — in the three Pacific States alone. There is 
no more familiar sight in this region than the " blanket stiff " wan- 
dering the coast from camp to camp seeking a better job. 

It would be a barbarous thought that homeless men " like " to be 
homeless. The fact that they are homeless, whether they like it or 
not, is in itself an anomalous condition. With the normal home- 
loving human such a condition should make for discontent whether or 
not it does so. Brave efforts have been made by a number of lumber 
companies to make the men more comfortable, and in some degree 
these efforts have met with success. A few "model camps" have 
been established. The triweekly shower baths, the individual cot- 
beds, and the common reading room have brought their expected 
balm. But camp, however model, is no substitute for home. As one 

1 Labor laws and their Administration in the Pacific States, by Hugh S. Hanna, 
Bulletin 211, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 15. 


Scotchman has put it — "You canna cure an economic error with 
a bath." 

Kegarding the labor problem as applied to the forest industry, 
Col. Graves says : * 

Of far-reaching importance both to the industry and to the public is the 
problem of labor. It is the problem that is most insistently pressing, and per- 
haps in some aspects the most perplexing of any before the industry. Some 
features are peculiar to the lumber industry, and the ultimate solution will 
doubtless require a program especially adapted to the conditions of the forests 
and the sawmills. Temporary adjustments will doubtless be found, but a final 
solution will come, I believe, only with the placing of the lumber industry on 
a basis of stability and permanence. 

But even under forestry permanent forest employment will not 
come about of its own accord. It is something that must be delib- 
erately worked for. A crucial point in this connection is the size 
of the tract or territory upon which a continuous or sustained yield 
of timber is at all times to be maintained. From the standpoint of 
timber supply alone it may be of little or no importance whether a 
continuous yield is maintained within the radius of a township, 
a county, a State, or even a major region of the whole country. 
Within reasonable limits the freight charges on lumber should not 
be excessive, and the main thing from the standpoint of the con- 
sumer is to keep all areas protected and growing to full capacity 
and not to overcut ; with the consumer it makes no difference about 
the radius within which the annual cut is maintained. With the 
forest worker, however, it makes all the difference in the world. If 
lie can always reach the same spot at the end of the day's work, 
he can establish a home there and a family life ; but if as now his 
headquarters are contiriually changing, then he must live in a camp 
and be driven to establish a hobo life. 

The area within whose radius an annual cut is maintained is called 
by the forester a u working circle " or " working unit." In forest 
management in which the working unit is based on the needs of the 
workers (consistently of course with the needs of efficient operation) 
there would be two kinds of forest communities — the sawmill com- 
munity and the logging community. The latter would be supported 
by the logging operation and the former by the sawmill operation. 
A sawmill suitably located could be continuously supplied with tim- 
ber from the growth on land tributary to it ; hence the sawmill com- 
munity could remain permanently at one location. The headquar- 
ters of the logging operation, however, could not always be planned 
so as to remain on one site, and so the logging community in many 
cases would have to be relocated from time to time. 

Mbid. ' 
118860°— 10 6 


It would be of course desirable that the logging community be 
relocated as seldom as possible. The longer the daily working radius 
from a given point the longer can the headquarters remain at that 
point, and the fewer times will the community have to be moved. 
Hence special effort should be made to increase the daily working 
distance through improved transportation. This is simply the com- 
muter's problem as applied to the forest industry. 

But the need for relocating the headquarters on account of the 
physical requirements of the logging operation is no reason at all 
why forest employment in logging communities can not under for- 
estry be made permanent and regular. It is not the mere physical 
moving from one headquarters to another that makes the present 
lumber industry a migratory one. It is migratory because its opera- 
tions are unplanned and unreliable. And so long as the industry 
remains one of mining timber instead of growing timber, and until 
the industry is placed upon a sustained yield basis, its operations 
must always be unreliable. But just as soon as the forest operation 
in a locality is planned for by a reliable agency, as the State or Fed- 
eral Government, and the cut during a future series of years is defi- 
nitely known and future operations definitely located, then forest 
employment in that particular operation can be just as permanent 
as employment in any other industry. A man can then know that so 
long as he is competent he can continue at his trade — in the sawmill 
or in the chopping crew — and the occasional changing of headquar- 
ters will at worst be nothing more serious than an inconvenience. 
The problem is only in part a physical one — and that the smallest 
part. The main point is to have the proper guaranty that certain 
operations are actually going to be conducted. This can be done by 
the municipality, the State, or the Nation. The essence of the matter, 
then, is not permanence of location but continuity of operation. 

(c) Stability of the forest community. 

The basis of the stability of the forest community must lie in 
continuous timber yield and permanent forest employment. These 
conditions should make of the forest worker a family man instead 
of a hobo. Those who are determined to be hobos would be elimi- 
nated, but those who want settled employment could have it. Under 
such a system many of the labor difficulties in the lumber industry 
would be ended. 

But stability of forest operation in a given locality would not of 
itself result in a community or an environment in which it would 
be desirable to live and to bring up children. Even under the most 
favorable conditions a desirable community is something which does 
not automatically arise. A "shack town," to be sure, may auto- 
matically appear. But a mere assemblage of houses, even good 


houses and with good sanitation, does not constitute a true com- 
munity. If the home is something more than a house, then the 
" larger home " is something more than a collection of houses. Aside, 
then, from proper housing and sanitary conditions, the forest com- 
munity, like the farming community, as something worthy of seri- 
ous attention, should be developed so as to meet certain specific 

The first standard is self-government. In this connection a serious 
situation has developed in the present system of migrating lumber 
camps. Men registered in a given voting precinct are often obliged 
to move so far away in order to hold their jobs that they lose their 
chance to vote. Where a man has lived long enough in one place 
to establish a residence, the plan of voting by mail might prevent 
him from being disfranchised. Certain Western States have already 
adopted this plan. But the general shifting nature of the timber- 
mining industry tends to prevent men from establishing a legal resi- 
dence in the first place and from continuing to hold it even if once 

It is sometimes claimed, however, that many of the men in the 
lumber camps have no interest in their Government anyhow — that 
they " would not vote if they could." It is true that the camps con- 
tain men who do not care to vote ; they contain also many men who 
do care to vote and who complain of being disfranchised. Each set 
of men represents a condition that needs to be remedied. With a 
permanent forest community, even though occasionally relocated, 
provision should, of course, be made for the voting franchise. 

What has already been said (p. 66) about facilities for education 
and social welfare in the case of the farming community applies 
with equal force to the permanent forest community. Cooperation 
should be developed for these purposes. A vital requisite of the 
fanning community, as already explained, is cooperation in market- 
ing and in securing economic needs. An equivalent cooperation 
applies in the case of the forest community. 

The farmer in selling his farm produce is selling in part the 
product of his labor, and so cooperative marketing of farm produce 
amounts very largely to cooperative marketing of labor power. The 
forest worker, as well as the farmer or agricultural worker, must 
market his labor power. And if cooperative facilities for such mar- 
keting ought to be developed for the agricultural worker, then they 
ought also to be developed for the forest worker. Each individual 
forest worker can not raise an annual yield of timber on a " timber 
farm " as the farmer raises an annual crop of produce on his dairy 
or wheat farm. The forest industry must be done on a large scale. 
The unit is the "working circle," not a timber farm; and so the 
work must be done collectively, not individually. The annual cut 


from the whole tract is the product in part of the combined lahor 
power of all the forest workers during the year. Hence one way 
for the forest workers to market their labor power would be for them, 
acting together as a collective unit, to sell in the open market the total 
annual output of timber from the working circle. But whether 
forest workers market their labor power in this way or in the usual 
way — through an employer — their final object is the same as that 
of the agricultural workers, namely, profitable employment This 
requires a fair wage for a fair day's work, done under safe and 
proper working conditions; and effective cooperative facilities for 
achieving these ends must be provided both to the forest worker 
and to the farmer if they are to obtain full value for services rendered. 
These seem to be the main requisites for an acting forest commu- 
nity as against a mere assemblage of timber shacks. The essence 
of community life is organization. On the basis of a timber culture 
system it should be no very great task to organize a forest community 
to meet the above standards ; and once so organized it will not fall 
apart when it moves from one place to another — it will hold its 
integrity through any number of physical relocations. On the other 
hand, an unorganized shack town, though stationary, is always sub- 
ject to disintegration — it always remains a camp. When timber 
mining is replaced by forestry the camp can be replaced by the com- 


It has been already indicated that the principle of profitable em- 
ployment — including fair wages for normal labor effort— is funda- 
mental in any effort made by the Department of Labor for utiliz- 
ing land for the returning soldier or other worker. In order that the 
payment charged for the use of land or natural resources may con- 
form to this principle, it is necessary to have clearly in mind the re- 
lation of such payment to wages — or income equivalent to wages- 
made upon the land. This question is first taken up as it applies 
to agricultural soil, and then as it applies to other natural resources. 

(a) Agricultural soil. 

The level of wages — or income equivalent to wages — made upon the 
land, when this level is determined through unrestricted competition, 
seems to be based upon one of two things : Either the net income to 
be made by working the best farm land to be had for nothing; or else 
the income to be had by working in general industry. In the earlier 
stages of the country's development the availability of free land was 
probably the dominant factor in the ultimate fixing of wage rates. 
But at the present time, free land of any real value has almost wholly 


disappeared, and the dominant factor in fixing wage rates would 
seem to be the wage scales in industries competing with farm labor. 
These wage scales appear to have their share in withdrawing labor 
from agricultural to urban pursuits. On account, however, of the 
desire on the part of a goodly portion of the population to have " a 
home on a farm," considerable sacrifice continues to be made for the 
opportunity of getting located on the land ; and to a large extent in 
this country, and particularly perhaps in the remaining pioneer locali- 
ties, the tendency of the farmer's " wage " to drop to the standard set 
by free land seems still to be in evidence. 

If in this, or in an earlier, time the wage level is (or was) deter- 
mined, either locally or generally, by the net income from free land, 
then there are certain definite, and fundamentally important, rela- 
tions between such wage level and the payment obtainable for the use 
of nonf ree land. These relations can best be shown, before consider- 
ing actual evidence on the matter, by assuming a theoretic case : 

Suppose in a region being opened for development the farming 
land is in three grades of fertility — grade A having the highest fer- 
tility, grade B next, and grade C the lowest. Land of all three grades 
is in public hands and open to actual use without charge. There is 
sufficient area of grade A land so that grades B and C are not used. 
The net income to be made by a farmer and his family on land of 
grade A is $500 a year. This income is what is left out of gross re- 
turns after paying interest and upkeep charges on capital invested 
in buildings, stock, and equipment and any charges for reclamation. 
It is the money which can be made through normal labor effort on the 
part of the average farmer and his family on a farm of most efficient 
acreage. This sum of $500, therefore, is equivalent to the wages 
earned by the family unit. A wage of this kind is called by agri- 
cultural experts the " family labor income." 

A period of years elapses and the grade A land is all taken up. 
Grade A is no longer the best land to be had for nothing; the best 
land still open to free use is now that of grade B. The family labor 
income to be made on land of this grade at this time is $400. The 
use of grade A land is now at a premium. The income to be made 
on this land, formerly $500, is now $650. This rise is due to an in- 
creased population and market, to better roads, and to general im- 
provements and development. The income possible on grade A land 
($650) exceeds by $250 that possible on land of grade B, and the 
family that obtains a farm for nothing on land of grade B is in the 
same position financially as the family that pays $250 annually for a 
farm on land of grade A. In each case the family labor income 
finally obtained is $400. A farm on grade A land, therefore, de- 
mands a " rental " of $250. 



Another period of years elapses, and the grade B land is all taken 
up. The only land now to be had for nothing is that of grade C. 
The family labor income possible of being made at this time on such 
land is $200. Land of grade B, as well as grade A, is now at a pre- 
mium. The income for grade B, formerly $400, because of the re- 
gion's further development, has risen to $600. The income possible on 
grade A has risen from $650 to $800. The income possible on grade 
A exceeds by $600 ($800— $200) that possible on grade C ; the income 
on grade B exceeds by $300 ($500— $200) that on grade C. A farm 
on the A land, therefore, demands a rental of $600, and one on the 
B land demands a rental of $300. In all three cases — on grades A, 
B, and C — the family labor income finally obtained (exclusive of 
rental) is $200. 

The conditions above presented may be recapitulated by the use 
of the following table : 

Tabus 5. — Increase in rental and decrease in wages accompanying the appro- 
priation of free farm land. 

Original condition. 

After first 

After second 

Land grades. 

Land grades. 

Land grades. 












Net income (or gross returns from farm exclusive 
of interest, upkeep and reclamation charges) 

Family labor income (or equivalent of wages 
made by whole family). 























The figures given in the previous pages and restated in Table 5 
illustrate the tendency of wages to fall and of rentals to rise as 
unappropriated farm land becomes reduced in area. The two lower 
grades of land — B and C — are shown in Table 5 to be out of use 
in the original condition of the region assumed; grade B becomes 
appropriated after the first period and grade C after the second. 
During this process the family labor income, or family wage ob- 
tained, falls from $500 to $400, and then to $200. At the same time 
the rental of grade A land rises from nothing to $250 and then to 
$600. The rental of grade B land rises from nothing after the first 
period to $300 after the second. When the user of land is also the 
owner of it, his income is in two parts — he receives wages as user 
and rental as owner. It makes no difference, of course, to the farmer 
on grade A land whether he receives for his work a wage of $800 or 
whether he receives a wage of $200 plus a rental of $600. But where 
the user and the owner are not the same person it makes a very 


obvious difference. Tenancy represents a complete separation of 
user and owner; the mortgaged farm represents a partial separation ; 
the unmortgaged farm worked by the owner represents a complete 
merging of the two capacities. 

The income in money necessary on a farm for maintaining a given 
standard of living is less than that required elsewhere. The money 
cost of living is reduced by the vegetable garden and by the oppor- 
tunity to get milk, poultry, and other produce without paying trans- 
portation, marketing, and extraneous charges. Morever the man 
who has an efficiently working farm and a home upon the land is 
likely to get more security and comfort out of life than the man who 
works in a mine or in a factory or elsewhere in general industry. 
Whatever may be the fair wage, as measured in money, for the work- 
ers in general industry, the equivalent wage for a man secure in his 
own employment on a farm would be something less than this. 

The point has been made, and illustrated by assumption in Table 5, 
that the wage of the land user may have a tendency to decline as more 
and more free land becomes appropriated. If this is so, then — unless 
the influence of wage levels in general industry, or something else, 
acts to prevent it — the time must come when the land user's wage will 
not only sink below a normal level but will approach the starvation 
limit. Farmers who own their land will not in general be reduced 
in their income, since their loss in wages tends to be compensated by 
their gain in rental. But the newcomer on agricultural land — such 
as s the home-coming soldier and worker — is in danger of being re- 
duced to the point of financial failure. 

Whatever it may be that sets, in any region, the level of wages for 
the user of land, some significant figures regarding this level are 
presented in a report 1 (1916) of the United States Department of 
Agriculture. This report is based on an investigation of 801 farms 
located throughout the northern cut-over region of Michigan, Wis- 
consin, and Minnesota. The following averages hold for these farms : 

Table 6. — Area, capital invested, and income per farm, 

[Average of 801 farms.] 

Size of farm acres— 108. 

Tillable area do 55. 2 

Nontillable area do 52. 8 

Capital invested $6, 856 

Family income 559 

Interest on capital invested (at 5 per cent) 342 

Family labor income 217 

Labor income (or farmer's wages) 49 

Family labor (for rest of family) 168 

1 Bulletin 425, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Farm Management, " Farming 
<*n the Cut-over Lands of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota," by J. C. McDowell and 
W. B. Walker. 



Family income ($559) is the sum of interest and family labor 
income, $342+$217. On the assumption that the average' farm is 
owned by the farmer and that the family is wholly out of debt, this 
$559 represents the cash which the family has for its own use. In 
case they are not out of debt, then all or some portion of the $342 is 
excluded from their own use. 

A portion of the interest on capital invested represents rental; 
the remainder represents interest on the investment in improve- 
ments and equipment. 

Family labor income is $217. Of this amount $168, or 77 per cent, 
is assigned as the normal wage to the farmer's family, leaving $49, 
or 23 pier cent, as the " wage " of the farmer himself. The farmer's 
wage or " labor income " varies widely among the different farms : 
On three-fourths (77 per cent) of them it is less than $300, while on 
about half (49 per cent) it is less than nothing. The range of labor 
incomes on the different farms is shown in the following table : 

Table 7°. — Farms classified on basis of labor income. 

[Average of 801 farms.] 

Farm class. 

All classes. 

Labor income less than 

Labor income to 1300 

Labor income $301 to 1500. . . 
Labor income $501 to $1,000. . 
Labor income $1,001 or more. 






of farms. 




age of 







« Ibid., p. 14. 

Table 7 shows that on 395 farms (49 per cent of those studied) the 
average " labor income," is minus $280. In most cases, then, farmers 
falling within this class are presumably either in debt or living on 
their principal. 

It might be maintained that a farmer in this class is not necessarily 
in debt for the reason that his gross income from the farm might be 
enough to pay him, in his capacity of landowner, a sum sufficient to 
live upon, and that his wage of " minus $280 " would in reality 
amount merely to the loss of $280 in interest. In such a case he 
might be able to keep out of debt and continue to make a living, but 
this he would do as the owner, not the user, of the land. If the owner 
and the user were separate persons, the user would be left without 
money compensation. He might, to be sure, have milk, eggs, and 
other food directly from the farm, but these would not constitute a 
complete living. He would require some minimum cash income, and 
in order to get it he would either have to go into debt or abandon the 
farm and seek a living elsewhere. 


It might also be maintained that a farmer whose labor income is 
minus $280 is not necessarily in debt because, instead of getting in- 
come now, he is laying up money through the appreciating value of 
his farm. But in order to make such value available it would be 
necessary either to sell off, from time to time, portions of the farm, 
or else rpise the money through successive mortgages. In either case 
the farmer would be living on his principal or what amounted thereto. 

Again it might be argued that the labor income here referred to 
could be augmented by means of wages earned by the farmer in 
neighboring logging camps, or on the roads, or elsewhere away from 
his farm, and that such opportunities might enable him to keep 
out of debt. Permanent employment on the farm home, as shown 
later on, could and should be made in many cases to dovetail with em- 
ployment, of the proper sort, in other local industries — especially in 
the forest industry. It might well be that a combination of farm and 
forest work would constitute a self-supporting enterprise and yield 
the equivalent of a high wage. But this does not mean that the wage 
received in one line of work should amount to a minus quantity to be 
made up in the other line. Farming so conducted that its deficits 
must be filled from earnings made in another occupation is, of course, 
a bankrupt enterprise. 

A situation in which a farmer is making a labor income of minus 
$280, whatever its cause may be, is not a condition to be continued 
indefinitely. The average farmer in this condition is, within a very 
few years, obliged to abandon his holding. In many cases such 
farmers hold proportionately a very small equity in their lands and 
in such cases the improvements which the farmer makes in and upon 
the land are often wholly lost to him. The farm is then resold to a 
new occupant at an increased value due largely to such improvements. 
The next occupant will then have, as a basis to start on, a farm at 
least partly made, and his chances of failure will be much less than his 
predecessor's. But even he in turn is likely to fail and have the 
results of his efforts, together with his predecessor's, passed along to 
a third occupant. This condition is not limited to the northern Lake 
States nor to the cut-over regions of the country; it applies also in 
many of the western irrigation areas where, to quote Dr. Mead, 1 
" prosperity has been paid for by the ruin of other families equally 
deserving who worked harder and suffered more." 

These results are due partly to the lack of facilities for reclama- 
tion, credit, and cooperation already referred to in section 8. They 
are also due to the payment charged for the use of the land itself. 
This payment, when not in the form of tenant's rent, is in the f ofin 
chiefly of interest charged in connection with mortgages or contracts 

1 Bearings before the Committee on Labor, U. S. House of Representatives, on the 
Croiser colonization bill, pt. 2, Dec. 15, 20, 1916, p. 91. 


of sale. It also includes taxes. Whatever the form, the payment 
amounts to what in Table 5 is called "rental" — the difference be- 
tween net income and family labor income, or " wages." Whenever 
the rental payment is unduly high, the corresponding wage must be 
unduly low. 

As already stated, the man who works upon a farm, like the worker 
elsewhere, is entitled to have, for a year of normal labor, a compensa- 
tion which will not fall below some proper minimum level of wages. 
If a piece of land when under cultivation is not capable of yielding 
(in addition to interest, upkeep, and reclamation charges) a net in- 
come equal to such minimum compensation, then it should not be used 
for farming at all, but should be devoted to the growth of timber 
or to some other use. If, on the other hand, land under cultivation 
is capable of yielding, in addition to the fixed charges mentioned, 
a net income in excess of the proper minimum- wage level, then the 
farmer as a worker can afford to pay rental equal to the excess. 

Assume two dairy farms: One farm, when submitted to normal 
labor, yields a net income of $600, and the other an income of $400. 
Suppose the proper level of wages, when reduced to a farm basis, to 
be $400. Two farmers apply for and obtain the use of the re- 
spective farms. Suppose the farmers to be equally efficient. Each 
one puts in the same amount of labor effort and each gets the 
equivalent of a fair wage for a normal year's work; but one gets 
a surplus of $200 ($600-$400) , while the other gets no surplus at all 
($400-$400). This difference is the result not of any inequality in 
the men but of an inequality of the fertility of the land, or of dis- 
tance to market, or of size of the market. Whatever makes the dif- 
ference, it is not the two farmers; it is either nature herself or the 
community at large constituting the market. If, therefore, a charge 
is made of $200 in the first case and nothing at all in the second case, 
then the two farms are made equally attractive, each farmer is en- 
abled to make fair wages from normal labor and a definite inequality 
of opportunity is removed. 

If the farmer in either of these cases had greater skill or ability 
than the normal worker he could probably earn more than the mini- 
mum wage. The charge should be made on the basis of what the 
normal farmer could earn under similar conditions, and not on what 
the particular farmer can earn. All farmers if placed upon an 
equality of opportunity as to the productivity of the land are left 
free to improve it and to earn as much above the minimum wage 
as their abilities are above the normal. 

The point is often made that the increase in rental of a given 
farm site (exclusive of improvements) is the result not so much of 
the individual labor of the farmer as it is of the common labor of 


the community, and hence the rental should be received by the com- 
munity, and the wage (or its equivalent) by the individual land 
user. Part of the increase in rental, however, results from the labors 
of the user himself, and to this part he would seem to be entitled. 
If so, some equitable fraction of the rental, in addition to the equiva- 
lent of his flat wage, should be retained by the user. In this way 
the settler would share directly (as well as indirectly) in any in- 
crease in rental accompanying the community's growth; and he 
would have a tangible stimulus for improving his holding, which 
he would not have if compensation for his labor tended to remain 
at some wage level. 

In order, therefore, to secure, for returned soldiers or other workers, 
profitable employment on agricultural land, any payment made for 
its individual use must be so gauged as to leave to the settler, out of 
estimated gross returns, an amount over and above fixed charges and 
expenses which will be not less (and perhaps something more) than 
the equivalent of a fair wage. Payment can not be based on this de- 
sired standard where the land title is held in private hands, for thru 
the basis will be, not a " fair wage," but the income possible from 
remaining free land or perhaps from employment in actual competing 
industries. Payment based on a proper wage standard can only be 
assured where the land title is held in public hands; the State (or 
other government) can then arbitrarily fix the payment low enough 
to allow for the fair wage required. 

(b) Other natural resources. 

As with agricultural land, so with the other natural resources, the 
gross returns in money obtainable from the use thereof may be 
divided into three classes : 

(1) Interest and upkeep on works of improvement, including 

amortization charges on reclamation and other con- 

(2) Wages, or equivalent of wages, obtained by the worker; 

(3) Rental, or equivalent of rental (including taxes), paid for 

the right to use the resource. 
With agricultural land the rental is received on a yearly basis, com- 
monly in the form of tenant's rent or as interest on mortgages. With 
the other resources it may or may not be received upon an annual 
basis. Payment for a water right (excluding reclamation charges) 
may be made each year. The water is, perhaps, used for irrigating 
land or for developing hydroelectric power. In either case a pay- 
ment is made for a certain flow of water during one year, such flow 
being measured in cubic feet per second, or " second- feet." On the 
other hand, payment for mineral deposits — as coal, iron, or copper 
ore — is made on a tonnage basis for the actual coal or iron or material 


taken. Thus a certain lump sum is paid for a given number of tons, 
the payment per ton being called a " royalty." 

Payment made for standing timber is called " stumpage price " — 
the price of timber as it stands on the stump. It is measured usually 
by the number of board feet in the lumber which the trees will saw 
out. A board foot is 144 cubic inches, usually conceived as a board 
1 inch thick having a surface 12 by 12 inches. Timber on the stump 
or in the log is bought and sold for so much " per thousand," i. e., per 
thousand board feet. 

The board-foot content of a log is generally arrived at by means of 
some log rule — a table giving for logs of different lengths and diam- 
eters the number of board feet which they are supposed to contain. 
Thus a log 18 inches in diameter (inside the bark at the small end) 
and 16 feet long contains, according to the formula of the Doyle log 
rule, 196 board feet. According to the Scribner rule the same log con- 
tains 213 board feet. There are about 50 different log rules in use 
within the United States, chief of which are the two above named. 
These rules are by no means consistent with one another. Some of 
them are based on formulae, some on diagrams drawn of the various- 
sized logs, and some on the measurement of the lumber actually 
sawed out. 

The stumpage price of timber is supposed to be the price of logs 
delivered at the sawmill, reduced by the cost of logging. Logging 
includes the operations of chopping the trees and transporting the 
logs to the sawmill. The cost of logging consists in part of fixed 
charges and in part of wages, i. e., items (1) and (2) given above. 
When timber is located so that the cost of logging just equals the 
price of logs at the mill, then the stumpage equals zero. When the 
timber is located at a greater distance from the mill, the logging 
cost is likely to be greater than the price of logs delivered. In such 
a case the stumpage would be a minus quantity and the timber 
would be out of reach for a profitable operation. 

The timber "stumpage price" is equivalent to the mineral 
" royalty," and both of these are equivalent to the farm rental. The 
latter, to be sure, is paid on a yearly basis, while the first two are 
paid on a lump-sum basis. But with all three — stumpage, royalty, 
and farm rental — each is reckoned by subtracting wages and fixed 
charges from the gross return obtained f rofci selling the product— 
whether logs, coal, or farm produce — in the nearest available market. 

Taxes placed on timber land amount for the most part to a taxa- 
tion of the stumpage. Under the system generally used in this 
country standing timber is taxed each year. This amounts to tax- 
ing over and over again a product of the soil, and has a tendency 
to discourage owners from allowing their timber to remain standing 
and accumulate more growth. To remove this defect foresters are 


advocating a system whereby no tax, or only a nominal one, is 
placed on the tract each year, the bulk of the tax to be taken at the 
time the timber is cut. A tax thus imposed chiefly on the yield might 
tend to stimulate timber culture as against timber mining. As yet 
very little progress has been made in substituting this system for the 
ancient " general property tax." This is due primarily to the great 
difficulty of changing State constitutions which at present contain 
legal barriers to the proposed reform. 

As with the farm rental, or payment for the use of agricultural 
land, so with the royalty, the stumpage charge, or the payment of 
any kind for the use of the natural resource in its raw state ; in each 
case, if the worker involved is to secure profitable employment, the 
rental charge or its equivalent must allow for a wage which does not 
fall below a fair minimum level. 


Before leaving the discussion of the principles of land utilization, 
it is desirable to clear up if possible certain current fallacies and mis- 
understandings as to the use of land for agricultural purposes. These 
relate to the matters of (a) cheap land, and (&) "cheap money," 
cheap powder, and public improvements generally. 

(a) With regard to cheap land. 

The idea is still prevalent that the land problem can be solved by 
the short-cut process of getting cheap land or free land. Land to be 
I had at a low price means land to be had at a low rental, for the price, 
| or assumed value of the land, is simply its rental capitalized. A 
rental of $5 per acre per annum capitalized at 5 per cent makes a 
price of $100 per acre ; and if the price be reduced from $100 to $50, 
! the rental is reduced from $5 to $2.50. Other things being equaH, 
j a low rental (or none at all) is obviously the desirable thing for 
the worker as the user of the land, and this principle was the mov- 
ing force behind the homestead law signed by President Lincoln in 
the period of the Civfr. War. By the terms of this law any citizen 
of the United States could obtain free of charge 160 acres of public 
land after residing thereon for five years and making certain improve- 
ments. Except for local taxes the original homesteader paid no 
| rental on the raw land. 

But the homestead law made for inequality of opportunity for the 
worker on the land. All kinds and conditions of land were thrown 
open to entry under the same terms. Perhaps this was inevitable 
under the circumstances of the time. So long, however, as good land 
and bad land are obtainable for the same price, or no price at all, 
on a " first come, first serve " basis, the element of luck and chance is 


bound to be brought in. A level in price for lands of different char- 
acter makes for inequality of opportunity ; only a difference in pay- 
ment for the use of lands of different character can make for a level 
of opportunity. 

The kind of a farm which should be obtainable for nothing is that 
yielding an income just sufficient to pay a fair and normal wage plus 
fixed charges and other expenses. Land having a yield less than this 
standard should, as already explained, be devoted to some nonagri- 
cultural purpose, while land better than the standard is worth a 
rental proportionate to its extra yield. 

In spite, however, of the defects pointed out, the homestead law has 
provided opportunities for many American workers, and for soldiers 
returning from the Civil War. In 1872, 10 years after the passage 
of the homestead act, a law was passed by Congress providing for 
the " soldier's additional homestead." Under this law any Civil War 
veteran who had already obtained a homestead of less than 160 acres 
could get, without the need of residence or improvement, the addi- 
tional land needed to make 160 acres. Every such veteran could get 
a paper certificate whereby the acreage to which he was entitled could 
be secured. This certificate became known as " scrip," which was a 
document^enabling the holder to select and obtain from the Govern- 
ment the immediate and unconditional title to a given acreage any- 
where upon the public domain. Since this form of scrip amounted to 
a free and transferable ticket to a piece of public land at no definite 
location it became subject to grave abuse by land and town-site specu- 

But soldier's scrip has provided only one of the opportunities for 
speculation. The homesteader upon making " final proof " receives 
from the Government a patent conveying a fee simple title to his 
land, and there is absolutely nothing in the homestead law — either in 
letter or spirit — which prevents the holder of such patent from part- 
ing with it the moment after he receives it. Neither is there any- 
thing to prevent the title holder from letting out his land to a tenant. 
The same is substantially true of the other public land laws — desert 
land, timber and stone, and the other $tcts and grants disposing of 
the Nation's domain. Practically in all cases unrestricted titles have 
been conveyed — either for nothing or at nominal sums— to private 
individuals or corporations. 

Much has been written and said about fraud in connection with 
the disposal of the public domain. The physical nature of the im- 
provements made on homestead entries, the "dummy" system for 
getting large holdings of timber and other lands, the "plastering" 
of mineral claims to gain control of water-power sites or strategic 
water holes on the public range — these and other spectacular methods 
of immediately subverting the theoretic purposes of the various 


land acts have been the subject of a vast amount of moral denuncia- 
tion. Far greater stress has been laid in all this on methods used 
than on results achieved. 

Whatever the methods used, however, the laws themselves have 
made no provision whatever against the concentration of land into 
few hands, or against tenancy or the other ills of the landless. These 
results may have been hastened by fraud, but if there had been no 
single case of fraud, the final effect must have been the same. The 
Government in conveying an unrestricted title to land and natural 
resources opens the way for drawing a sharp line between the worker 
and user of land on one side and the owner and controller of land on 
the other. A specific right is thus conveyed to barter in land and the 
sources of life. Unless the title and tenure of land is specifically 
limited to the right to use it there is nothing to prevent such title 
from becoming negotiable and made an object of commerce. Land 
may be " cheap " or had for the asking, but if the tenure conveyed is 
unrestricted, then no single thing exists in law for preventing ulti- 
mately the exploitation of the user by the barterer. Cheap land to 
the original homesteader will be dear land to his successors. 

(b) With regard to cheap money, cheap powder, and public im- 

One of the aids held as being vitally important in every region 
now undergoing settlement is what is called " cheap money." This 
consists of two main features — low-interest rates and long-time 
payments. The most efficient method of making long-time payments, 
both on interest and principal, is the one above explained — the 
amortization method. Cheap money should apply not only to pay- 
ments for reclamation work and land improvement, but to payments 
also for live stock and other equipment. The essentials of an efficient 
credit system have been suggested in section 8 (d) , pages 73-74. 

tt The State " is the money lender equipped to supply credit at 
lowest cost u The State " is now acting as money lender, in aid of 
agricultural development in several parts of the world — notably in 
Australia, in New Zealand, and in European countries. A start in 
this direction has been made in this country by the rural credits 
law. This, however, provides only for raising money on an enter- 
prise already established, and not for financing a new enterprise. 
There seems to be a very widespread desire — on the part of land- 
owners, land users, and land reformers — to have public credit, 
whether exercised through the Federal Government or the indi- 
vidual States, so used as to help the settler in clearing, reclaiming, 
and improving land, and thus " opening up " the undeveloped country. 

Of what interest is such a policy to the land owner? 

It has already been pointed out that the wage — or income equiva- 
lent to wage — made upon the land, seems to be determined, under 


unrestricted competition, either by the wage level in general industry 
or by the income from free land. Assume, then, a locality in which, 
on the average farm, 30 per cent of the annual return (outside of up- 
keep and running expenses) goes for the farmer's " wage," 60 per cent 
for fixed charges on improvements and reclamation, and the remain- 
ing 10 per cent for rental. Suppose the policy of " cheap money " is 
then introduced in the region by means of the State (or Federal 
Government) acting as money lender. This reduces the cost of 
reclamation and improvement work. In the case of a new farm 
developed under this new regime, out of every $100 of annual return, 
$30, as before, goes for wages. This sum is a constant amount fixed 
through competition by industrial wage standards, or else by the in- 
come from free land. But the charge for improvements and reclama- 
tion, through the policy of cheap money, has been reduced, say from 
$60 to $45. Then the remainder of the annual return ($25) is rental. 

Thus the $15 saved through the cheap money policy has been sub- 
tracted from one annual charge and added to another. This other 
being rental, goes partly to the State in the form of taxes, and partly 
to the landowner in some form of private rental. As already pointed 
out, the landowner may receive his rental as tenant's rent, or as 
interest on a mortgage, or he may receive it through a contract of 
sale. Where, of course, the landowner is also the farmer he gets the 
$30 " wage " as land user and the $25 " rental " (less taxes) as land 

In the illustration here given, the State through its policy of cheap 
money adds $15 per $100 of gross return to the rental of the average 
farm. If now, all of this $15 is collected as taxes, the State (or local 
community) gets the value which the State creates; if none of the 
$15 is thus collected, the landowner gets the value which the State 
creates; if part of the $15 is thus collected, the State gets a portion of 
the value which it creates and the landowner gets the rest. Unless, 
therefore, the State, in adopting a policy of cheap money collects a 
part at least of the extra value thus created, the landowner seems to 
be the only one benefited. 

The result of the process just described would be called, in cus- 
tomary parlance, an " increase of land values." If the rental is made 
to increase (as in the illustration) from $10 to $25, then (on a 
capitalization at 5 per cent) the land value involved is made to in- 
crease from $200 to $500. 

The increase of land values (and of rentals) is something that has 
always been desired, naturally enough, by the landowner. And so 
long as the State refrains from taking as taxes all of the increase 
in rentals, the landowner will continue to have this desire. Much 
has been said about the landowner growing rich on the "unearned 
increment." This, of course, is only to be expected, and the ex- 


amples of it are legion. In thousands of cases, on the other hand, 
the landowner by no means gets rich. On the contrary he may be 
left out altogether, even when the increment is big. This increment 
is usually made through buying low and selling high. An " increase 
in land values " is to the land speculator what a " rising market " is 
to the stock speculator. But selling land usually involves spending 
money as well as making it. Indeed, more money may be spent than 
is "made." Land selling in most cases is carried on through a laby- 
rinth of agents and subagents. In such cases, the policy of cheap 
money is of benefit not so much to the landowner as it is to what 
may be called the " land-owing interests." These interests, consist- 
ing of owners and sellers, may be so numerous that the money got 
by any one of them is but a meager amount. Incidentally, however, 
this does not affect the land user. It makes no difference to him, in 
obtaining his legal right to use land, whether the sum which he pays 
goes to one man or many — whether it helps to make one man rich or 
to keep several men poor. 

For the same reason that cheap money appeals to the land-owning 
interests, the movement for "cheap powder" appeals to them also. 
In certain regions, as in the State of Washington, there has been a 
strong movement to have powder, for stump blasting purposes, 
manufactured by the State and sold to settlers at cost. Stump- 
pulling operations to be conducted on a large scale by the State, 
directly or through contractors, are also advocated in several sections. 
Projects for irrigation, swamp drainage and river improvement are 
being conducted through public agency in several parts of the 
country. Any activity of this kind, if effectively carried out, tends 
to reduce the original cost of reclamation and hence the annual 
reclamation charge. The effect is precisely that of cheap money. 
The reclamation cost is reduced, the rental increased, and the land 
owning interests thereby benefited. Such activities also tend to in- 
crease the gross return from farm land, which is another way of 
increasing rentals and land values. As the Director of the United 
States Reclamation Service says: " So long as the value that attaches 
to land goes into private pockets there appears to be no escape from 
the fact that the benefits of all public improvements, including irri- 
gation works, inure to the benefit of landowners almost exclusively." * 
Mr. William Kent, of the United States Tariff Commission, in a 
recent address before the American Economic Association on " Land 
Tenure and Public Policy," shows very clearly why the landowner 
is interested in improvements made at public expense. He says : 2 

fourteenth Annual Report of the Reclamation Service, 1914-15, Arthur P. Davis, 
Erector, p» 6. 

1 Speech at the thirty-first annual meeting of the American Economic Association, 
Richmond, Va-, Dec. 28, 1918. 

118860°— 19 7 


When we consider agricultural lands we find the same curse. We find that 
every Improvement In transportation, whether by rail, canal, or road, at once 
results In higher land prices, in higher land rents, and therefore in higher cost 
of production, if people are permitted to charge up their rents or interest on 
land value as part of their producing cost. The man who would pay for his 
land out of its product finds that it must be done either out of more years of 
crops and of life, or out of higher prices from the man who eats. The Mc- 
Cormlcks produce the harvester. Up goes the price of wheat land. Does Ford 
invent a tractor? Farm lands being made more productive, immediately ad- 
vance in price, and neither consumer nor farm tenant get the advantage, 
because at one end the farm owner can raise his proportionate rent, and at 
the other there is no reduction of prices for foodstuffs. Farm land, just like 
city lots, is oftentimes held out until the need and the breeding capacity of 
others calls for its use. Then there stands at the gate the fee simple owner to 
charge in rent or in purchase price the value created by the work of others. 

Of what interest are these policies of cheap money and public im- 
provements to the land user% 

As already shown, the land user who happens to own the land 
which he works is benefited by these policies. He is able to pocket the 
extra rental caused by the decrease in reclamation costs. But this lie 
does as the owner, not the user, of the land. The same holds true for 
the man who has already contracted to pay a stated sum for the land 
he uses. He is able, of course, to benefit by any rise in the rental (or 
land value) taking place after his own payment for the land has been 
fixed. In other words, the reforms named help the settler who is 
already on the land, but they help him only to the extent that he is 
the owner, not the user, of the land. 

But how about the newcomer — the prospective settler not already 
on the land ? Anything which reduces the cost of reclamation tends 
to enlarge the land area available for settlement. And this is so 
whether the wage is held at a normal or starvation level. If by means 
of the community (or public) control of land wages can be maintained 
at a fair level, then anything (like cheap money, cheap powder or 
public improvements) which makes more land available for settle- 
ment, increases the opportunity to make a fair wage, or a living, on 
the land. If, on the other hand, wages are maintained at or near the 
starvation level, then any reform which makes more land available 
for settlement, increases the "opportunity" to make a starvation 1 
wage, or mere existence, on the land. The prospective settler, there-' 
fore, as a future land user has much to gain by the above mentioned' 
reforms, provided wages are maintained at a fair level ; otherwise he 
has nothing to gain from them. 

Of what interest, then, are these reforms to the land reformer? 

Land reformers claim to be working in the interest of the land usei 
and not the land owner and practically all of them are sincere in thill 
desire. And yet many of them are working for things which tend tA 
aid the owner but not the user of the land. They are working fol 


such things as cheap money and cheap powder without regard appar- 
ently to what is being done about wages. To the extent that they dis- 
regard the latter problem (i. e., the need of maintaining a fair wage 
level) their efforts at reform result in furthering the " opportunity " 
above referred to — that of eking out an existence on the land. And 
every added farm thus developed on an existence basis means one less 
farm to be developed on a livmg basis. Such " reforms," therefore, 
extend a bad land system ai^d narrow the opportunity for installing 
a good system. They do harm, not good. 

The principle, then, of " State aid " to " self-help " in land develop- 
ment can secure profitable employment on agricultural land only 
when it is linked with another principle — that of maintaining a fair 
wage level on such land. But this, as already explained, can not be 
done except where land titles are in public hands. As long as the fee 
simple remains in private hands all efforts of the land reformer are in 
vain — they are equivalent to an attempt to lift a fallen man while 
standing with both feet upon his back. 

Mr. Kent, in concluding the address above referred to before the 
American Economic Association, speaks of the effect on the use of the 
various resources of the private control of land disposal through fee- 
simple titles i 1 

In summing up, I arraign this traditional fee-simple title for many economic 
and social crimes and misdemeanors, and I can not distinguish between the 
economic and the social. 

It has contributed a great impulse to the overgrowth of our cities and towns, 
and to the depletion of our agricultural areas ; it has lessened our food supplies 
and increased their costs; it has created idle classes, farm tenancy, and bad 

It has destroyed our forests, wasted our coal supplies, cascaded our petroleum. 

It has encouraged private monopoly and resultant extortion, and has encour- 
aged malevolent activities by our own common carriers. 

Afore than any other privilege it has permitted men to reap where they have 
not sown. It has, like a sponge, sopped up general benefits and deprived society 
in general of what was due from inventions and improvements. 

1 Ibid. t p. 11. 


In Chapter I a general view has been presented of the land utili- 
zation of the United States — both agricultural and forest land. In 
Chapter II the main principles have been discussed that are required 
in utilizing land for making new opportunities for profitable em- 
ployment. Mineral land and the water resources have not been con- 
sidered except incidentally ; attention has been limited almost wholly 
to farming and to forest lands. Possible methods of applying the 
principles will now be taken up. Methods for the utilization of 
farm lands will be presented in this chapter and of forest lands in 
the next. 

The methods used in the Australian countries combine in the main 
the principles of farm land utilization which have been discussed 
herein. The Australian land system is based upon the colony unit 
and has been built upon the successful experience of France, Den- 
mark, and other European countries in the community form of agri- 
cultural development. In the various land settlement plans of the 
British Empire, as presented by the reconstruction committees of 
the British Government, the Australian system is, in greater or less 
degree, used as a working model. This system has been developed 
under physical conditions closely resembling those in America, espe- 
cially in the Western States; and the State of California, under the 
able leadership of Dr. Elwood Mead, has started a settlement pat- 
terned on the colonies in Australia. 

In Canada, as a result of the British movement toward land utiliza- 
tion for returning soldiers, the Dominion and some of the provincial 
governments have adopted policies of land settlement. The Soldier 
Settlement Board, with headquarters in Ottawa, has charge of this 
work for the Dominion. This board was created by act of Parliament 
in August, 1917, and its field of action is chiefly in the three Prairie 
Provinces — Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta — where the Crown 
lands are under the Dominion Government. Ontario was the first 
Province to take up soldier colonization in tangible form. A colony 
started in 1917 at Kapuskasing, in the Clay Belt in northern Ontario, 
contains now some 60 settled families of returned soldiers. 

Fundamental to the success of any farm colony is its access to 
market. This is necessary both for settler and consumer. Profitable 



employment for the one and reduced cost of living for the other re- 
quire definite connection between colony and city. The "pipe line" 
connecting land and market must be kept open ; and from it all un- 
necessary industrial obstructions must be eliminated if the alternative 
employment offered on the land is to serve any real benefit. In ad- 
vance, therefore, of describing the methods developed for establish- 
ing the community unit itself, some possible methods will first be con- 
sidered for establishing efficient distributing facilities between colony 
and city market. 


Between producer on the farm and consumer in the city there are a 
number of industrial processes. These include transportation, stor- 
age, and retailing. Many farm products, before they are ready for 
market, must undergo also various processes of manufacture. The 
creamery, cheese factory, flouring mill, and abattoir stand between 
the farm and the corner shop. The tannery, woolen mill, and cotton 
mill stand between the range and the plantation on one side and the 
clothing store on the other. 

With a number of the basic food products, however, no manufac- 
ture is required. These include such great staples as milk, eggs, 
poultry, fruit, and vegetables. With these no factory stands in the 
way of their direct delivery from farm to table. The facilities for 
transporting these staples also are somewhat different from those 
requiring manufacture. They can be carried in small containers. 
Within limited distances, therefore, they can be transported by 
truck instead of by rail or water. This reduces the number of 
handlings and makes the connection between farm and table much 
more direct and efficient. This should, and does, result in lowering 
the price to consumer and raising the pay of producer. 

This direct transfer could not (extensively be utilized so long as 
the truck was drawn by horses. But the invention of the motor 
vehicle has greatly extended the radius within which the method can 
be applied. With good concrete roads a motor truck service can 
make accessible to an urban center all land within a radius of 75 
miles. Around most urban centers the acreage of farm land — im- 
proved or improvable — within this radius would be sufficient to 
supply the population with dairy products and the other staples 
named. A very large portion of the urban population of the United 
States is included in centers of this description ; and sufficient popu- 
lation can be reached within the motor truck radius to provide a 
market in these staples for more than three- fourths of the farm land 
in the country. The motor truck service should, of course, be coordi- 
nated with the railway and waterway services. 


(a) The motor transport postal service. 

A rural truck service has been started by the Post Office Depart- 
ment in connection with the parcel post system. Some 36 routes 
have been established. Together these form contihuous lines from 
Washington, D. C, eastward through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and 
Xew York to Portland, Me., and westward through Gettysburg, Pa., 
to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago. Lines run 
southward from Indianapolis and Cincinnati through Kentucky 
and Tennessee into Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina; also 
between Gettysburg, Pa., and Richmond, Va. 

The utilization of this rural motor service for marketing purposes 
has already begun. Farm products of various kinds are being carried 
in the postal trucks from the country districts in Maryland, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Virginia into the city of Washington. Schoolhouses are 
used for collecting and distributing. In the town of Mount Joy, 
Pa. ; near Gettysburg, a combination schoolhouse and postal station 
serves as a market to which the farmers of the neighborhood bring 
their eggs, poultry, and other produce for direct shipment in the 
postal trucks to the Park View schoolhouse in Washington, which is 
also a postal station. From this point the produce is distributed at 
cost to the local city consumers on a " cash and carry " system. Pro- 
duce is also brought to-Park View from several towns in Maryland 
and Virginia over one or another of the five postal motor routes 
leading out of the city. x 

The building at Park View performs four related public services : 
It is a schoolhouse, a post office, a market, and a community center. 
It is a large, well-equipped structure recently built to serve these 
several purposes. It contains a large assembly hall which is used 
in the evenings as a public forum by the local people. There are 
several school rooms of varying sizes. The pupils are of primary 
and grammar school grades. A corner room on the ground floor is 
used as the post office, and a large room adjoining serves as the 

The building is in charge of a " community secretary," who is em- 
ployed by the authorities of the local school district. Under him is 
the school principal. He is also the post master. Park View is, 
then, more a community house than a schoolhouse. It provides the 
services which, in the typical country town, require four separate 
institutions — the school, post office, store, and town hall. Through 
the community secretary these functions are correlated. 

The community center, as illustrated in Park View, should form 
the nucleus of each community unit. Through this center the people 
of each locality can readily cooperate with the people of other locali- 
ties that are similarly organized. In this way the farming community 


can deal directly with the urban community, the postal motor route 
forming the connecting line. The motor route, therefore, or the pos- 
sibility of establishing one, is a prime essential in locating any land- 
settlement project. The farm colony should be on the post road. 

(b) Road building and farm building. 

The establishment of postal motor routes and farm colonies thereon 
would require ultimately a great deal of new construction. A large 
number of motor roads are already made, and the several States are 
adding to the mileage each year. Under the road law of July 11, 
1916, the Federal Government is cooperating with the States in build- 
ing rural post roads, not to exceed one-half the cost being appro- 
priated by Congress. The initiative in this work is taken by the 
separate States. A proposed national road system has also been 
worked out in the Post Office Department, and work thereon would 
not have to await State action. This project calls for the construction 
and maintenance of about 15,000 miles of roads. 

Farm building (or establishing ready-made farms in the colony 
unit) requires work of various kinds. This includes housing opera- 
tions, land leveling, fertilization, installation of water systems, etc. 
In certain sections of the country it would include also stump clear- 
ing, swamp drainage, and other work of reclamation. 

The effect of road building and farm building in any locality would, 
of course, be an increase in land values. And these values, as already 
explained, will all go to the owners of the land unless taken there- 
from, in whole or in part, through taxation. By this method the in- 
dividual State could collect the full value which it had created ; and 
this plan has been suggested as the simplest and fairest way of paying 
for improvements. The Federal Government, in cooperating with 
any State, could stipulate this method as a condition of spending its 
funds for work carried on in such State. 

(c) Possibilities of a public " construction service." 

Road building and farm building are provided for in the proposed 
development law introduced in the last Congress to carry out the 
land development policy of the Secretary of Labor. The measure' 
provides that this and all other construction work shall be conductedl 
by a "United States Construction Service." In this service men 
desiring work would be able to immediately enroll. Its object is 
be a reservoir in times of labor surplus, and a diluter in times o 
labor shortage. In periods of unemployment the service would 
used in " buffer employment " for carrying on the various kinds o 
public works. In periods of labor shortage dilution of labor could 
take place through this service so as to distribute the available 
skilled men in such manner as to be most effective. 1 



A Government construction service is no new idea. The public 
development of public works has long been successfully carried out 
both in this country and abroad. The principle has been applied in 
the Australian countries and beginnings have been made by our own 
Government in the work of the Isthmian Canal Commission and the 
Alaskan Engineering Commission. 

The work of road building and farm building is one of industrial 
preparation. It must be, therefore, to a certain extent migratory. 
But this is no reason why definite standards of working and living 
conditions can not be maintained. Like the logging camp and the 
mining camp, the " construction camp " should be abolished. It has 
already been explained (sec. 9c) that the forest community can be 
made, through proper management and foresight, to supplant the 
logging camp even where the logging operations, as in most cases, 
must be migratory. The working community can be relocated from 
time to time. And this method can be applied not only with forest 
operations but with road and farm construction when the work has 
to be shifted from one job to another. Thus the workers could con- 
tinue to live with their families and to have the full advantages of 
schooling and the other facilities of a community life. 

This work of industrial preparation might well serve as an appren- 
ticeship in the industries themselves being launched. Men working 
at reclamation and farm building are in a logical and practical posi- 
tion to become the prospective settlers on the land being improved. 
Such men having for a time worked in a construction service in pre- 
paring lands for farming could as permanent farmers be "gradu- 
ated," to quote the Secretary of Labor, " upon the very land which 
they prepare." 

It is quite possible that most of the work of a construction service 
could be done through units consisting of cooperative erews. The 
cooperative crew is a substitute for the private contractor. In Kus- 
sia, where it is known as the " artel," it is an ancient and successful 
institution ; and in New Zealand it has been working well for many 
years. Under this method a number of workers form themselves into 
a crew and collectively bargain with the Government to do a specified 
piece of work. This plan is being used by the Alaskan Engineering 
Commission in building the Government railroad in Alaska, and is 
said to be far more satisfactory, both to the workers and the Govern- 
ment, than the old-time method of letting jobs to contractors. Work 
thus is being done on what amounts to an actual cost basis. 

Through the agency of a construction service, as provided for in 
proposed legislation, an immediate program for employment could 
tie up intimately with a permanent one. A " job " on the roads could 
be made to lead directly to a living on the land. Farm building f ol- 


lowing road building, " buffer " work could broaden into permanent 
work and a truly effective development policy be thereby initiated. 

(d) The " garden city." 

The postal motor route has been pointed out as an important means 
of bringing together the farm colony and city market. Especially is 
this so since the farm colony must, as a usual thing, be located, in 
rural or undeveloped territory. Another method, however, of bring- 
ing together the farm and the market is to make more complete use 
of suburban territory. 

By the proper planning of our smaller and growing cities a better 
contact can be made between urban and agricultural areas. The 
suburban zone usually separating these areas, with its waste spaces 
and its ragged borders, constitutes what might be called the city's 
back yard. It is as inefficient as it is unsightly. The suggestion is 
made, therefore, by town planners that the suburban zone as now 
constituted should be supplanted wherever possible by a carefully 
planned agricultural community, or a series thereof. This is ac- 
complished by means of the so-called garden city form of develop- 

The garden city is best illustrated perhaps in the town of Letch- 
worth, in England, a combined factory and farm town which has 
been built 33 miles out of London. Letchworth is the first of the 
garden cities. The enterprise is described by Mr. Thomas Adams, 
town planning adviser to the Canadian Commission on Conserva- 
tion, in his excellent report on " Rural Planning and Development," 
1917. Letchworth was started in 1903. An area of nearly 4,600 acres 
has been purchased by the Garden City Co. at a cost of about $225 
per acre. About one-third of the area has been devoted to the city 
proper and some 30 industries have been established therein. Th& 
rest of the area, surrounding the industrial portion, constitutes an. 
" agricultural belt." The population had grown to about 13,000, but 
will be increased to some 35,000 when the town is completed. 

The Letchworth garden city idea has grown into a movement 
which has been spreading in England, in France, and elsewhere in 
Europe ; and it promises to be an important factor in after-the-war 
reconstruction. "The aim of the garden city movement," says Mr. 
Adams, 1 " may be described as the marriage of town and country." 
It has not only attracted attention in Europe but in this country 
as well. The United States Senate early in 1917 passed a resolution 
authorizing the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry to make an 
investigation and report on the subject. The garden city scheme is 
something which in its nature is likely to proceed somewhat slowly, 

^■^^^^— ■ ■ ■■■■ ■ i ■ ■ ■ 1 1 ■ ■■■■«■■■■ . » ■ . . . . i — . - .M.— ^^— ^_ , „ 

1 " Rural Planning and Development," Commission of Conservation, Canada, 1917, 
p. 168. 


but as a means of colonizing land near the city market it seems to 
have many promising possibilities. 

Speaking of this type of development as an opportunity for re- 
turning soldiers and workers Mr. Adams says i 1 

The success which has been achieved at Letchworth, in England, in the build- 
ing up of a city and agricultural colony combined, affords us the example we 
require to solve a large portion of the problem of the returned soldiers. Such 
a scheme involves artificial organization to get it started, but one of the objects 
of that artificial organization would be to develop a town in which there would 
be the fullest public freedom for natural growth and individual initiative. 


The Australian system of land settlement is in vogue not only in 
the continent of Australia, but in the island of Tasmania and the 
group of islands comprising New Zealand. This combined territory, 
together with that of other South Pacific islands, is often referred to 
as "Australasia." The "Commonwealth of Australia" forms one 
major political unit of the British Empire and includes, in addition 
to the " Northern Territory," the States of New South Wales, Vic- 
toria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tas- 
mania. The several States have separate governments and are tied 
together by the Federal, or Commonwealth, Government, which has 
complete control over the Northern Territory. The capital of the 
Commonwealth is Melbourne. The Crown lands in Northern Terri- 
tory are subject to the disposition of the Federal Government ; Crown 
lands elsewhere are subject to the disposition of the particular State 
in which they lie. The "Dominion of New Zealand" forms an- 
other independent political unit of the British Empire. 

(a) Main features. 

The Commonwealth, each of the Australian States, and the Do- 
minion of New Zealand all have their peculiar methods of land set- 
tlement. These methods in their present form represent a develop- 
ment whioh has been going on during the last quarter century. 
Though varying somewhat in detail, there are certain essential fea- 
tures which are common to practically all of the jurisdictions, and 
these may be given as representative of the system as a whole. 

The main features of the Australian system of land settlement are 
the following: 

* Ibid., pp. 214-215. 

*Only the salient points of the Australian land system are here presented. The sub- 
ject of legislation is not taken up. For a concise statement of the recent soldier 
settlement laws of the Australian States, and of other countries, reference is made to a 
publication of the Department of the Interior. — " Summary of Soldier Settlements in 
English-Speaking Countries," by EI wood Mead, Consulting Engineer, U. S. Reclamation 
Service, 1918. 


1. The establishment, through legislation, of a central authority 
(usually designated a "settlement board") which is empowered and 
directed to carry out the land policy provided in the law. 

2. The location by the settlement board of land areas large enough 
to form community units. All " Crown lands " needed are obtained 
through reservation; all private lands needed are obtained through 
State purchase or "resumption." In the latter case some form of 
condemnation is usually made available. 

3. The selection of settlers by the settlement board. These are 
chosen on the basis of their fitness for agricultural work ; the owner- 
ship of a certain minimum capital is usually required, and the settler 
generally must be ready within a few months to enter upon the land. 

4. The preparation, in advance of settlement, of plans — based on 
adequate land classification and surveys — for irrigation, drainage, or 
other reclamation needed in the case of each area ; and the grouping 
of lands for purposes of a town site, of farm laborers' allotments, and 
of regular farm allotments. One farm only is allotted to one family, 
and the acreage is determined on the basis of family needs. 

5. The organized construction of reclamation works and the organ- 
ized improvement of land — through leveling, cultivating, and the 
erection of buildings — whereby each farm is equipped for use in 
advance of settlement. In New Zealand this construction work is 
done to a large extent by means of cooperative working crews, instead 
of by private contractors. 

6. The alienation to the settler by the State of a land tenure desig- 
nated to prevent speculation and to keep the control of each farm in 
the hands of its user and occupant. For this purpose different States 
have different methods. As already mentioned, New South Wales 
provides a perpetual leasehold, while Victoria grants a restricted free- 
hold. In any case the object is to provide a right to the use of land 
rather than a right to barter land. 

7. The payment for the use of land and improvements, as far as 
possible, upon a cost basis, and in such wise as to impose the mini- 
mum hardship. For these purposes the method is to provide for — 

(a) Small initial payments; 

(&) Amortization of the costs of improvements (and of 
the land when bought) at low interest rates, and 
during a period usually of 30 years or longer ; 

(c) A reasonable rental (when land is leased) based upon 

the productive value of the land ; 

(d) The opportunity to any settler who desires to with- 

draw, to receive fair compensation for improvements 
made at his own labor and expense. 

8. Community organization for cooperative action in marketing 
produce, purchasing supplies, obtaining credit, and in providing 


for other economic as well as social needs. For these purposes the 
land reserved for a town site may be used for the location of ware- 
houses, stores, banks, schools, churches, and other public buildings. 

9. The establishment of a demonstration farm at some central 
point in each colony, to be run by the State under a director who 
acts also as an agricultural adviser for the farmers in the com- 
munity. Pure bred cattle and other live stock may be raised on 
such farms and sold at cost to settlers. 

10. Loans to settlers on long time and at low interest rates, to 
enable them to secure seed, grain, fertilizer, and minor farming 
equipment, and to meet initial running expenses. Security for such 
loans may be had through liens on the land or on stock, or by means 
of cooperative credit associations. 

(b) First application in America — California, 1917. 

The first law to be enacted and actually put in force, looking to the 
establishment of the Australian settlement system in this country, 
is the California land settlement act of 1917. Under this law a 
" Land Settlement Board " is created having general powers to carry 
out the provisions of the act. This board consists of five members 
holding office for four years, and appointed by the governor. The 
board is authorized to purchase within the State, in one or more 
tracts, an area not exceeding 10,000 acres. A sum of $260,000 is ap- 
propriated for the purpose of the act. The settlement board, through 
the public press, is to call for offers of land and to inspect the same 
when offered. On this point the act states that " every report of such 
inspection shall as far as practicable specify the — 

(a) Situation and brief description thereof; 

(&) Extent and situation of land comprising so much of any 
tract as it is proposed to acquire ; 

(c) Names and addresses of the owners thereof; 

(d) Character of water rights ; 

(e) Nature of improvements; 
(/) Crops being grown on land ; 

(g) Appraisement of value of land, water rights, and improve- 

On the basis of these reports the tract or tracts to be acquired shall 
be chosen by the board. 

Not only any citizen of California, but any citizen of the United 
States, may apply for a farm allotment under the terms of the act, 
provided only that the applicant is ready to enter upon the land 
within six months, and that he or she is not the holder of agricul- 
tural land " or of possessory rights thereto," to the value of $15,000. 
" The board shall have the right in its uncontrolled discretion to re- 
ject any or all applications it may see fit." 



Upon the acquisition of a tract by the board, the latter is to sub- 
divide the tract into three classes of allotments : An area is reserved 


scale of reer 
o soo /coo isoo eooo 

of 3,876 acres in Butte County in the Sacramento Valley purchased by the State in 
1918 under the land settlement law of 1917. A community unit which will comprise 
63 farm allotments and 21 farm laborers' allotments is being established here. 

first as a townsite or community center which is cut up into small 
lots and disposed of by sale or lease. A limited number of " farm 


laborers' allotments " are then to be laid out, each allotment not to 
exceed $400 in its unimproved value. The remaining land as far 
as possible is to be divided into regular " farm allotments," each 
allotment not to exceed $15,000 in its unimproved value. 

Improvements in the tract may be made by the board — these to in- 
clude the preparation as needed of the land for irrigation and culti- 
vation; the seeding, planting, fencing, and erection of farm buildings 
thereon; and the building of cottages on the farm laborers' allot- 

The land tenure provided is a freehold partially restricted by 
means of a " contract of purchase." This contract provides for con- 
tinued residence, cultivation, repairs, and even fire insurance, and 
forbids during a minimum period of 10 years the transfer or sub- 
letting of any allotment. 

The prices of the various farm allotments must be such as to return 
at least the cost of the land and surveys, plus interest at 5 per cent, 
and must in addition be graded " so as to tender such allotments as 
nearly as possible equally attractive." The initial payment is 5 per 
cent of the total charge and the remaining 95 per cent may be 
amortized over a period of 40 years. 

Loans may be made by the board to settlers by chattel mortgages 
on stock and farm implements, such loans to extend over a period not 
exceeding five years. 

Since the passage in April, 1917, of this land settlement act, the 
State land settlement board has been appointed and organized, headed 
by Br. Elwood Mead, and the first purchase has been made. The 
tract first acquired covers 3,876 acres in Butte County in the Sacra- 
mento Valley, lying one-half mile east of Durham and 7 miles south- 
east of Chico. This tract is shown on map 8, page 110. An adjoining 
area of 2,400 acres was also acquired as part of this project, making 
6,276 acres in all. An area of 3,520 acres has been subdivided into 63 
farm allotments and 21 farm laborers' allotments, and a small area 
(22 acres) has been set aside for the purposes of a community center. 

Most of the land can be irrigated by means of a canal built several 
years ago which diverts the waters of Butte Creek. Underground 
water from depths of 40 to 100 feet is also available for household 
and stock purposes. The soil varies from a sandy loam to adobe. 
Part of the tract has already been ditched and leveled; 900 acres 
were seeded last year to alfalfa and 600 acres to wheat and barley. 
Plans have been prepared of houses and farm buildings which the 
board is going to erect in accordance with the selection made by the 
settlers themselves. 

Steps have been taken by the board previous to any settlement for 
securing cooperative action on the part of the prospective settlers. 


The "Durham Cooperative Stock-Breeders' Association" was all 
ready for organization, and membership therein has been one of the 
conditions required by the board for purchasing lands and joining 
the community. The settlement board in a circular announcing the 
opportunities offered in the Durham settlement project states the 
" things the board desires to see achieved." They are as follows : 

1. The settlement to become widely and favorably known as the home of one 
breed of dairy cattle, one breed of beef cattle, one breed of hogs, and one or two 
breeds of sheep. 

2. The cooperation of the settlers in buying and selling. 

3. The establishment at Durham or on the settlement land of a training 
school in agriculture. 

4. The erection in the near future of a social hall owned and paid for by* 

5. Two areas have been included in the subdivision for poultry farms. It is. 
hoped some experienced poultry breeders will apply for these. 

On June 15, 1918, the land settlement board began examining the 
applications for allotments in the Durham project. These had been 
coming in for several weeks. For the 63 regular farm allotments 
there were 156 applications and for the 21 farm laborers' allotments 
there were 132 applications. The proportion of applicants that had 
to be excluded is suggestive of the high demand in this country for 
land settlement opportunities of the kind offered on this project. 


The first and only instance in North America of government colon- 
ization for returned soldiers is the colony at Kapuskasing in the 
Canadian Province of Ontario. This settlement was started in 1917 
as the first experiment in an enterprise of the Ontario Government 
known as the." soldier settlement scheme." 

(a) The " soldier settlement scheme." 

The soldier-settlement scheme provides for giving to each returned 
Canadian soldier a farm lot of 100 acres in the " bush country " of 
northern Ontario, 10 acres on each lot to be cleared and made ready 
for the plow at the expense of the Government. In addition to this 
gift, material or labor to the value of $150 is donated to each soldier 
settler toward getting started on his land. A loan of $500 is also 
made to him, this to go toward the building of his house or for secur- 
ing general equipment. This loan must be paid back, on the amortiza- 
tion plan, within 20 years, with interest at 6 per cent. The settler can 
also obtain the use of a horse by paying for his keep, and have the 
use of needed tools without charge. Within five years the settler 


must clear an additional 10 acres of land on his farm, 2 acres to be 
cleared each year. Whenever the additional 10 acres have been 
cleared and all indebtedness to the Government has been repaid the 
settler obtains a patent to the land. 

A great deal of work is thus provided for by the Government in 
clearing the 10 acres on each allotment, so that the settlers comiilg 
to the colony can obtain work of this kind either upon their own land 
or upon that of others. The settler also has the opportunity to cut 
and sell any pulp wood which may be standing on his lot. Pulp 
wood at the railroad track was selling in northern Ontario in Decem- 
ber, 1918, for $7 a cord. The original plan contemplated that the 
men, before going to the colony, go first to the provincial experimen- 
tal farm at Monteith for preliminary training in land clearing and 
in general farm work. This arrangement has now been discontinued. 
Arrangements, too, were made for the location of a pulp mill in con- 
nection with the colony to be established, this mill and the logging 
operations with it to serve as a source for winter employment. 

(b) Colony located in Clay Belt. 

The colony which has been established to carry out this scheme has 
been located in what is known as the " Clay Belt " which extends 
for several hundred miles along both sides of the Transcontinental 
line of the Canadian Government Railways. This belt covers por- 
tions of the Provinces of Ontario and of Quebec. It is a level 
region, covered throughout by a small growth of spruce, fir, poplar, 
and other f drest trees averaging from 30 to 50 feet in height. Large 
portions of this forest have been burned, these portions going by the 
French name " brule." The soil for the most part consists of a clay 
loam interrupted by a series of muskegs or moss-barrens. The 
region is drained by a number of rivers, these containing falls pos- 
sible of generating a large amount of water power. In general the 
soil near the rivers is of a better quality, and the timber is larger, 
than on the areas between the rivers where the spruce and fir trees, 
though of considerable age, are usually of small diameter (4 to 7 
inches). Patches of these species large enough for pulp wood (8 
to 10 inches in diameter) , occur scattered here and there. 

The climate in winter is cold, dry, and very exhilarating. The 
summers are short and hot, though frosts are likely to occur in 
every month. Forest fires also are likely to occur anywhere and any 
time during the summer as a result of brush burning or of sparks 
from locomotives. The main farm crops of the future will probably 
consist of oats, hay, and some of the more hardy root vegetables, 
and agriculture in this region will consist in the main of raising 
live stock for beef or dairy purposes. 

118860°— 19 8 



The location chosen for the first soldier colony was on the Trans- 
continental line where it crosses the Kapuskasing River. At this 
point an experimental farm run by the Dominion Government had 
been located and here also was situated a Government internment 
camp containing several hundred German and Austrian prisoners. 
•This location was chosen partly for the reason that a certain amount 
of land clearing could be accomplished through the labor of the 
interned prisoners. A pulp mill is to be located on the river by the 
Kapuskasing Pulp & Paper Co. 

The Government of Ontario has complete control of the Crown 
lands, which occur practically without interruption throughout the 
Clay Belt. The townships in this northern part of Ontario are 9 by 9 
miles square, while those farther south are 6 by 6, as in the United 
States. Five of these large-sized townships have been reserved for 
soldier settlement purposes. 

The first group of returned soldiers applying for admission to the 
colony went through preliminary training at Monteith in the spring 
of 1917. This group, containing about 30 men, arrived in Kapus- 
kasing in June, 1917. Since then other groups have come from time 
to time, these consisting of men who were disabled in one way or an- 
other. A good many of the settlers are of the English cockney type. 

A so-called " colony farm " of 600 acres has been established on the 
east side of the Kapuskasing River and this has been almost wholly 
cleared and stumped by the interned prisoners and by the settlers 
coming to the colony. Several buildings make up the nucleus of the 
colony. These consist of an administration building, a dormitory, 
schoolhouse, store, planing mill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop. A 
spur track has been built in to the planing mill. About 20 dwelling 
houses have also been constructed for the use of the soldiers and their 
families while their lots are being cleared. 

Each lot contains 100 acres, 100 rods wide by 160 long, these being 
laid out in regulation order along so-called " concession " lines. Sixty- 
two men with their families were, in December, 1918, actually living 
on the land. Other men not yet located on their lots were employed at 
work in the colony, either at clearing land, building houses, cutting 
timber, or at other occupations. 

The lots are spread along the Transcontinental Railway on each 
side of the station at Kapuskasing. They extend from Kitigan, 6 
miles east of the station, to a point about 2 miles west of the station. 
A number of settlers also have taken up lots at a place called Harty, 
about 11 miles west of Kapuskasing, in the burned-over or " brule 
country*" Thus the lots extend, with some interruption, about 17 
miles along the railroad track, this distribution being the result of 
allowing the men to choose their own locations. The roads are being 
Biade by the Ontario Government through what is known as the 


Northern Ontario Development Branch. Construction of the houses 
is a part of the soldier settlement scheme, each house being designed 
according to the desires of each man. 


No constructive system of land settlement has been worked out in 
Canada as there has been in Australia. Almost all the land in 
Canada has been at one time or another in the ownership of the 
British Crown just as 75 per cent of the territory -of the United 
States has been vested in the Federal Government. And just as the 
disposal of the United States public domain has constituted the main 
land policy of this country, so the disposal of the Crown lands has 
been the policy of Canada. The *" homesteading " method has pre- 
vailed in both countries, and a large part of the good agricultural 
land of the western Canadian prairies has been alienated to indi- 
vidual settlers in lots of 160 acres. These lots, as in the States, have 
been disposed of through free grants subject only to certain condi- 
tions of initial improvement and residence. In neither country has 
there been a consistent, constructive land policy. 

The Government of the Dominion of Canada at Ottawa has con- 
trol of the Crown lands in the " Prairie Provinces " (Manitoba, Sas- 
katchewan, and Alberta) and in parts of British Columbia. It also 
has complete supervision of the Yukon and Northwest Territories. 
Elsewhere in Canada the Crown lands are under the control of the 
respective Provinces in which they are situated. These consist of 
the " Maritime Provinces " (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince 
Edward Island) and of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. 
Newfoundland, like New Zealand, is an independent political unit 
of the British Empire. 

The reconstruction plans of Great Britain are likely to result in 
some remodeling of previous land policies in the various colonies, and, 
as already stated, they are patterned in part after the Australian sys- 
tem. Land legislation in the several Canadian Provinces may be 
said to be in the making, and no review of this legislation is herein 
presented. But certain methods in handling the land problem have 
been worked out in Canada which give promise of being crystalized 
sooner or later into a new land policy. These relate to the use of land 
as an opportunity for workers, and they form constructive sugges- 
tions for a new land utilization in the United States. 

(a) Land classification. 

Canada has made an excellent start in land classification, especially 
in the Province of New Brunswick. This Province is systematically 
classifying all of its Crown lands. This work began in 1916 and one- 
fifth of the total area has now been covered. It is estimated that the 


work will last for another 10 years. The method is to lay out so- 
called " strip surveys " across the land so that 4 per cent of the total 
area is covered. All of the trees on each strip are calipered to ob- 
tain their diameters and a percentage of tree heights are taken. Soil 
samples are also taken and topographic features surveyed. From 
these data a complete forest and timber map can be made of each 
township as well as a complete map of its soil conditions. Four 
classes of soil are used : clay, loam, sand, and rock. 

In determining what is, and what is not, profitable agricultural 
land, soil fertility is of course only one factor. The market is the 
other big factor. A truly complete system of land classification 
should consider all the points taken up in section 7 (The u Highest 
Use" of Land), and should apply the specific test given by the 
Secretary of Labor — the " yearly compensation to be obtained by the 
settler for his own use as a result of his labor." 

(b) Town planning. 

Canada has also made a good start in the matter of town planning. 
Mr. Thomas Adams, town-planning adviser to the Commission of 
Conservation at Ottawa, has done pioneer work in this regard. His 
work has already been referred to in connection with the "garden 
city " movement. He has worked out methods for laying out and 
developing the large city, the small town, and the agricultural com- 
munity. Plans for the agricultural development of any locality 
should of course be based upon a thorough land classification com- 
prising soil, forest, and topographic surveys. In this way the farm- 
ing and the forest lands can be definitely segregated and efficiently 
subdivided, and the roads laid out so as to best meet the needs of 
the community as a whole. 

Each community unit, Mr. Adams points out, should be planned 
so that all roads lead by the most direct routes to the community 
center. The method which has been, and still is, followed of laying 
out roads in level regions being developed, both in Canada and in the 
United States, is to place them on the section lines (or other lines 
separating legal subdivisions). Thus all roads in such regions, as a 
rule, run north and south or east and west. By running the roads 
obliquely across the township to its center, access to the latter is made 
more direct, the average haul is shortened, and the total road mileage 
is reduced. 

Several different methods of carrying out this principle of ready 
access have been devised by Mr. Adams. He illustrates these plans 
in his report by means of diagrams. These are shown in figures 5 
and 6, pages 118, 119. Each illustrates a " plan for agricultural set- 
tlement." Figure 5 shows four different methods of planning town- 


ships, and figure 6 indicates four other different methods. The plans 
shown on the latter diagram assume that " the square form of land 
division for the separate farms must be adherred to." 

A material reduction in the road mileage, as compared with pres- 
ent practice, is here illustrated. The regular 6 by 6 township covers 
an area of 36 square miles, and the total length of roads on the sec- 
tion lines within the township (excluding boundary roads) is 60 
miles. By running the roads obliquely, as in figure 5, the mileage 
is reduced from 60 to 46, "of which 11 miles are secondary and not 
essential." In figure 6 the total road mileage shown is 40, of which 
36£ miles comprise principal roads and 3£ secondary. Thus from one- 
fourth to one-third of the mileage is saved. 

The main point about the old and the new methods of laying out 
roads is thus summed up by Mr. Adams: 1 

The objection to the present method is that it stereotypes the division of land 
according to a hard and fast system of survey without proper regard to topog- 
raphy, facilities for social enjoyment, convenience, and transportation. The 
proposal is not to substitute a new for an old method of stereotyping develop- 
ment, but to substitute an elastic and scientific method for one which is based on 
no definite principles. 

Lands chiefly valuable for forest growth are shown as segregated in 
the illustrations of townships presented by Mr. Adams. These lands 
might be handled as community forests and managed upon a sus- 
tained-yield basis. The farm units in these illustrations are laid out, 
apparently, on the assumption that the soil throughout the township 
is about equally fertile, and that the most efficient acreage (for family 
use) in the case of farms near the community center is distinctly 
smaller than that for farms on the outskirts. 

A central town site covering one section (640 acres) is set aside in 
the illustrations given for buildings and grounds necessary for gen- 
eral community use. These would include warehouses, stores, schools, 
churches, etc., and perhaps a demonstration farm in charge of an agri- 
cultural adviser. Eeady access to the community center is required, 
both for economic and social reasons, and so the community tract 
should be made as symmetrical and compact as possible. 

The disadvantage of an unsymmetrical settlement is illustrated in 
the Kapuskasing colony. One of the complaints here made, especially 
by the women, was the difficulty of getting together at the community 
center, and the consequent restriction of social intercourse. People 
living in the Kitigan settlement have to go 6 miles to the store, the 
post office, and schoolhouse at Kapuskasing. Efficient town planning 
would have enabled all settlers to have had their homes within a 
radius of 3 miles of the center. 

1 Seventh Annual Report, Commission of Conservation, Canada, 1916, p. 123. 



ESS Town 0rea 
•A»u For eat land 

Read » 

5i*«$ of f«rm bui»din^$ 

Fig. 5^-A CANADIAN PLAN FOR LAYING OUT A TOWNSHIP.— This and the succeed- 
ing diagram show eight different methods of planning quarter sections of townships. 
Imaginary areas are taken and roads are planned to secure (1) close settlement of the 
farm buildings, (2) convenience and directness of access to the town area and station, 
(3) reduction in length of road, (4) use of swampy and rocky land for timber reserves. 
The buildings are also grouped so as to obtain the best social facilities and economic 
use of wells of water supply. In the town area it is assumed there would be good 
facilities for obtaining education, medical advice, and recreation — and an organized 
cooperative agency under Government auspices to supply farm implements, seeds, etc., 
to the farmers and to collect and distribute farm produce. On this diagram the total 
length of road provided to give access to all the farms is 46 miles, of which 11 miles 
are secondary and hot essential. Under an ordinary rectangular division plan the total 
length of road is 60 miles. Boundary roads are not included In either case. In 
addition to the saving in road construction and maintenance which would be effected 
by proper planning, there would be the great saving in time and team, labor for the 
farmer, owing to the greater nearness of the farms to the center. Fewer and more 
direct roads mean better roads, because it Is possible to concentrate a given expenditure 
on a smaller area. — (From Seventh Annual Report, 1916, Commission of Conservation, 
Canada, p. 120.) 


It la assumed that tie square form of land division for the separate farms must be 
adhered to as a condition precedent to the planning of the area. Varieties of size of 
holding: from SO acres (near the town) to 400 acres (remote from the town) are pro- 
Tided for, hat all holdings could be made 160 acres if desired. A different plan la 
shown for each of the quarter sections, adaptable to the imaginary topograph; of the 
land, the only feature common to all the quarter sections being the main roads inter- 
secting the township In two directions — one parallel with the railway Bud the other at 
right angles thereto. All the farms are grouped so aa to give them convenient access 
to the town, where the same facilities are presumed to eiist as are described In respect 
of Fig. S. The total length of road usually provided In a fully developed township, not 
including boundary roads, la 60 miles. In this plan there are 36) miles of principal 
and 3) miles of secondary road, making a total of 40 miles. Every farm has sufficient 
road frontage, and the same length of boundary road is allowed for In both the above 

The object of these diagrams is not to suggest stereotyped or rigid forms of land 
division but to show Ihe desirability of abandoning such forms. Every township 
should be Inspected and planned before settlement. — (From Seventh Annual Beport, 
1B16, Commission of Conservation, Canada, p. 120.) 


The adaptation of the methods illustrated in figures 5 and 6 for 
laying out a community unit would seem to require (as a convenience 
if not a necessity) that each unit be inclosed by definite legal bound- 
aries. These boundaries could be made to define in each case an 
independent settlement! district having a particular legal status, 
within which certain laws could be made to apply and a consistent 
settlement policy worked out. It could comprise a township or any 
other definite area of land. 

Such a district might be organized eventually as an independent 
town or some other provision made to secure for it local self-govern- 
- ment. . The land thus organized, whether vested in the general or the 
local government, might ultimately be controlled by the latter for 
permanent community purposes. In case lands within the district 
are vested in the State or general government, arrangements should 
be made whereby some equitable portion of the rental for the use 
of such collected and paid over, in lieu of taxes, to the 

It might often be necessary, especially in thickly settled regions, 
to include within the boundaries of a settlement district a number 
of established farms and areas which could not in all ways be in- 
cluded as part of the district organization. Such a situation intro- 
duces complications which would have to be dealt with in accordance 
with the local circumstances. It would probably be found necessary 
to limit the inclusion of such areas to some maximum percentage of 
the district's total acreage — perhaps 20 per cent. 

It has already been pointed out (section 11 b) that any public 
improvement, such as a farm settlement district established by the 
State at public expense, tends to increase the land values in the 
locality thus developed. Privately owned areas, either inside or 
immediately outside of the settlement district, would be increased 
in value, and hence in rental. The settlement project itself, there- 
fore, would have the tendency to start a boom for the sale of these 
private lands. This in turn would lessen the effectiveness of the 
State enterprise ; settlers would be induced to buy the private lands 
for speculative purposes rather than obtain the use of State or 
community lands with which they could not speculate. Values 
created by the State would thus go into private pockets. 

A remedy for a situation like this would be to have these private 
lands made the subject of special taxation. By taking as an extra 
tax the extra rental created, speculation could be eliminated, the 
State enterprise protected, and a fund collected for public use which 
would be otherwise collected for private use. A measure of this 
kind would be a consistent part of any truly effective town planning 
and colonization policy. 


(c) Expropriation of land. 

Canada and this country have in the past used the same system 
with regard to Government lands — that of alienating an unrestricted 
land title. The disadvantage of this sort of alienation is now show- 
ing up. The Soldier Settlement Board of Canada planned to utilize 
the Crown lands of the Prairie Provinces for soldier settlement pur- 
poses, and the promise went forth to the soldiers returning that this 
prairie land would be available to the extent needed for their use. 
When the Settlement Board came to take account of stock, however, 
they found that the Crown lands remaining were practically negli- 
gible. On the other hand, there were found vast areas of unused 
land within 10 miles of railroad facilities which were held in pri- 
vate ownership. This land was at one time Crown land but had been 
alienated in unrestricted title to individuals and corporations. And 
so to-day, when the land is needed for soldier settlement purposes, it 
is found to be out of reach of the Dominion Government, although 
held unused by private parties for speculative purposes. 

In view of this situation a conference was held in Ottawa on No- 
vember 19, 1918, of the premiers of the various Provinces. At this 
conference the Dominion Government made the suggestion to the 
premiers that each Province pass legislation providing for the ex- 
propriation of unused private lands which might be suitable for 
soldier settlement purposes. Such legislation has been introduced 
into the respective Parliaments at their sessions this winter and it is 
expected that in this way land in the Prairie Provinces and elsewhere 
may be made available for settlement. The general plan, adopted 
from Australia, is to provide for the assessment of the unused land 
by the owners thereof, such assessment to be used as a basis for taxa- 
tion. The Government then is to exercise the right of buying the 
land when required, at or near the assessed value. 

The United States faces the same predicament as Canada in ob- 
taining lands for her returned soldiers. Practically all of the public 
domain has been alienated in fee title. The remedy for Canada's 
past mistakes, namely expropriation, suggests itself as a remedy 
for our own. The prairie region of this country, including the 
Dakotas and other States, is the counterpart of the prairie region 
of Canada ; and it is possible that if successful colonization is to be 
carried on in the former region, land may have to be secured by the 
respective States in a manner equivalent to that being developed in 
the adjoining Canadian Provinces. 

But if in either country, when the land is once retrieved, an un- 
restricted title therein is alienated to the individual settler, there will 
be nothing to prevent such land from accumulating again in the 
hands of the nonuser and bringing about a repetition of the present 
difficult problem of securing land for use. This error of granting 


the fee title to Crown lands is being made in the Kapuskasing colony, 
and it bids fair to be repeated elsewhere in Canada. This fallacy is 
still flourishing in the United States. In each country, however, 
there is a growing sentiment to replace this folly by the common- 
sense method of retaining the title in public hands. 

(d) Need of a permanent pulp industry. 

The need of making forestry, combined with agriculture, an inte- 
gral part of any policy of land settlement is clearly seen in Canada, 
where farm and forest lands are so closely mingled. At least two of 
the big wood pulp concerns of that country are making a definite be- 
ginning with respect to carrying out forestry on their licensed tim- 
ber holdings. One of these is the Laurentides Pulp & Paper Co. ; the 
other is the Eiordon Pulp & Paper Co. Both concerns are practicing 
forest planting. In addition to this the Riordon company is building 
a town on^Lake Temiskaming, in the Province of Quebec, in connec- 
tion with a pulp mill which will be built at the same place. This 
town has been planned by Mr. Thomas Adams, of the Commission of 
Conservation. The idea is to have a permanent mill, a permanent in- 
dustry, permanent employment, and a permanent and well equipped 
town. A further step in this policy, and one which seems to be fore- 
seen by the company, should be that of providing continuity and 
stability of employment, not only for the mill workers but for the 
woods workers as well. The need is suggested of domiciling in a 
permanent way, within the locality of woods operations, the men who 
work in these operations. 

Logging in Canada, as in the United States, is carried on very 
largely during the winter .season. At the end of the season, under 
present practice in both countries, the lumber jacks are " laid off." At 
the beginning of the next season they are " taken on." In the mean- 
time they shift for themselves as best they may. Some of the men 
have farms and families in one place or another and spend their sum- 
mers farming; some of them work on other men's farms as hired 
men; many of them take " any old job " that comes along. The sys- 
tem of employment is as happy-go-lucky as the system of logging 
operations of which it is a counterpart. As one remedy for this situ- 
ation the suggestion has been made by one of Canada's big pulp men 
that the lumber jack should have during the summer — his off season— 
a " two-acre homestead " to live and work upon, thus insuring him a 
permanent home with his family. 

On the other hand, the settler during the winter, which is his off 
season, should have the opportunity for woods employment near his 
home. Such an arrangement is anticipated in connection with the 
soldier colony at Kapuskasing. The Ontario Government has li- 
censed the timber on several townships to the Kapuskasing Pulp & 
Paper Co. and has arranged that the company build a pulp 


mill and town for its workers in the vicinity of the soldier colony. 
The mill is to employ some 800 persons, and 200 of the jobs are to be 
open to men living in the colony. In this way winter employment 
near their homes is to be provided for the settlers. 

Another important reason for stabilizing the pulp and the timber 
industry, and tying it in so far as possible with that of the agricul- 
tural industry, is to provide a local market for farm produce. 
Families supported by the pulp industry, whether working in the 
mills or in the woods, will require, in addition to such produce as 
perhaps they can raise in their limited gardens, or upon their " two- 
acre homesteads," a considerable amount of the staples which can 
only be raised on farms of sufficient size. The population consisting 
of these families, therefore, would serve as the chief local market for 
the agricultural products of the settlers. 


In the previous chapter the methods of land utilization were dis- 
cussed primarily from the standpoint of agricultural development. 
In this chapter such methods will be discussed from the standpoint 
primarily of forestry, and only incidentally of agriculture. The prin- 
ciples underlying the use of forest lands for permanent employment, 
as already shown, relate to (a) timber culture versus timber mining, 
(5) permanent forest employment, and (c) stability of the. forest com- 
munity. Management of timber as a crop is the essence of real for- 
estry, and provides the only sound basis for stabilized employment in 
the woods and sawmill. 

European practice illustrates this point. Mr. Raphael Zon, of the 

United States Forest Service, in a recent illuminating article, 1 states 

that in Europe for generations sustained forest production has 

formed the backbone of a system of continuous communities of woods 


In Switzerland a forest of 10.000 acres, with an adjoining area of 3,000 acres 
of agricultural land, supports a prosperous, permanent community of 1,500 

In France during the past 60 years, in the region of " the Landes," 
many thousands of acres have been reforested. The Parishes of La 
Teste and Caseaux in this region contained, before the reforestation, 
about 1,600 people; since the establishment of the forests these same 
Parishes came to support a population of 14,000. Taking Europe as 
a whole Mr. Zon estimates that 80 per cent of all woodsmen live in 
their homes on small holdings near the forests in which they work. 

Recent estimates made by the United States Forest Service indi- 
cate some of the possibilities of forest employment in this country. 
In 1914 the timber logged and sawed into lumber in the United 
States amounted to 40 billion board feet. To log and saw this timber 
required about 480,000 men. If our present methods of timber min- 
ing are continued, the annual cut is bound to decrease, and with it the 
opportunities for employment. Assuming that the present per acre 
per annum yield is not diminished, the most that can be expected, 
after the remaining surplus stock of virgin timber has been cut off, is 
a yearly output of about 25 billion feet. The number of men re- 
quired in logging and sawing this amount will be less than 300,000. 
If, on the other hand, timber culture is practiced, the Forest Serv- 
ice estimates that the permanent forest area of the Nation will yield 
a total output, for lumber production alone, of at least 60 billion feet. 

1 " Reconstruction and ' Natural Resources," by Raphael Zon, Journal of Political 
Economy, April, 1010. 



This would provide permanent employment for over 700,000 men, 
who, with their families, would make a population upwards of three 
and a half millions. 

In addition to these operations of logging and sawing, many men 
would be employed, under forestry, in fire protection, in forest plant- 
ing, in the construction and upkeep of roads, buildings, and other 
improvements, and in a variety of other occupations incident to the 
proper development and upbuilding of the forest resource. 

Since four-fifths of the standing timber in the country, and of the 
permanent forest area, are to-day in private hands, the main possi- 
bilities of permanent employment in the lumber industry depend 
upon bringing the timber lands now privately owned under a con- 
tinuous forest production. It is doubtful, as experience over the 
world has shown, whether timber, owners themselves will adopt tim- 
ber culture on their own volition. It must come, therefore, either 
through some form of regulation by the Government of cuttings on 
the private lands, or else through Government ownership. In the 
meantime the public forests (National, State, and municipal), be- 
cause of their permanency, offer the immediate opportunity for the 
development of permanent communities. 

The national forests, including timber, grazing, and other lands, 
cover a total of 155 million acres — 20 million acres in Alaska, 130 
millions in the Mountain and Pacific States, and 5 millions in vari- 
ous parts of the eastern half of the country. With respect, therefore, 
to immediate and permanent forest employment, the main field of 
opportunity lies in the West, where the bulk of our national forest 
land is situated. Chief attention herein will be devoted to this west- 
ern field. Before taking this up, however, some salient points regard- 
ing eastern forest development will first be briefly considered. 


Two-thirds of the estimated future forest area of the United States 
is in the eastern half of the country ; and nine-tenths of the present 
population is also in this eastern half. This region has been, and still 
is, the main field of the lumber industry. The largest cut of timber 
is now being made in the Gulf States, and after these have been u cut 
over " the industry will shift to the Pacific and far Western States 
where the biggest reservoir of timber remains. The permanent wcfod 
supply of the country, however, must look ultimately to the eastern 
forest land as its mainstay. 

A portion of the East having one of the best opportunities to 
develop an intensive timber culture is the region from Maine to 
Pennsylvania (the New England and Middle Atlantic States). This 
region contains about 28 per cent of the Nation's present population, 


but includes only 12 per cent of the country's permanent forest area. 
The greater part of this region's forests are within a series of timber 
belts, known collectively as the " Northwoods," including northern 
Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Moun- 
tains of Vermont, and the Adirondacks of New York. 

It was in these Northwoods and adjoining areas that the American 
lumber industry made its real start. In 1850 the Northeastern States 
cut more than half of the Nation's supply of lumber; to-day they cut 
less than one-tenth. In many of the " Northwoods " townships the 
population was lower in 1900 than it was in 1800. Historically a 
part of the oldest section of the country, and alongside the most 
populous areas in the Nation, this northeastern region may neverthe- 
less be classed with the new and undeveloped sections of the conti- 
nent as a possible field of opportunity for permanent employment on 
the land. 

Restoration of the forests has been often suggested as a means of 
employment for the returning men. Serious, thought has been given 
this subject by the British Government. The Subcommittee on 
Forestry of their Eeconstruction Committee has reported a scheme for 
forest planting and rehabilitation in the United Kingdom. As in 
old England, so in our own New England, and elsewhere in our 
eastern States, there is grave need of restoring a depleted forest 
growth to upbuild the wood-using industries required by a dense 

The lead in developing methods for restoring, under a system of 
forestry, the timber resources of the Northeastern States would 
naturally be taken in the one national forest of the region — that in 
the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Some of the States also 
own forests, and more could be acquired. On much of the timberland 
in the region thriving stands, especially young white pine and hard- 
woods, are growing fast. On the other hand, many of the stands are 
irregular and the trees in poor form. The forest as a whole needs 
patching and weeding. Much small-sized wood could be cut while 
the bulk of the land is restocking, and the material used in various 
industries — the spruce in the paper and pulp industry and the pine 
and hardwoods in different kinds of woodworking factories. This 
of course is now being done. Under present "timber-mining" 
methods, however, the forest is being still further reduced; under 
timber-culture methods it could be utilized and at the same time be 

The White Mountain National Forest takes in portions of New 
Hampshire and Maine. Land is being acquired in this area under 
the terms of the Weeks law, passed by Congress in 1911, and up to 
June 30, 1918, the Government had purchased, or approved for pur- 
chase, 401,233 acres. This land occurs in a number of large-sized 


tracts, on several of which some form of permanent forest settlement 
might be established. 

One of the most promising locations consists of a tract >known as 
the " Wild River Watershed," covering about 30,000 acres. This was 
cut over by a lumber company over 20 years ago, when most of the 
old-growth spruce and pine was taken; a fringe of small spruce, 
however, remains on the upper slopes of the ranges that bound the 
watershed. The bulk of the tract is now covered by a mixed stand 
of poplar and of white birch and other hardwoods in all stages from 
sapling growth to maturity. The Forest Service estimates that this 
stand contains at present not less than 10 cords per acre on 15,000 
acres, or a total of 150,000 cords. The annual growth is estimated at 
one-half cord per acre on 25,000 acres, or a possible sustained yield of 
12,500 cords. 

A variety of products can be made from the stand on this water- 
shed for which markets appear to be readily available. The poplar 
and spruce will make pulpwood, which can be shipped by rail to dif- 
ferent pulp mills in the region or else driven down the Androscoggin 
River. The white birch can be made into bobbins to be used in the 
many textile mills in this part of New England. The yellow birch 
and the other hardwoods might be manufactured into turnery prod- 
ucts of various kinds. Tan bark and fuel wood can be taken out in 
connection with the operations for pulp wood. 

The sustained production possible on this Wild Eiver Watershed 
would ipake continuous employment, under present forest conditions, 
for about 40 men in the logging operations alone. Agricultural land 
in the vicinity would enable these men to live, if they desired, on 
" two-acre homesteads " — as being suggested in Canada. These men 
with their families could form a permanent forest community of 200 
people and upward; and if some local woodworking plant were in- 
cluded as part of the project a much larger community could be 

Permanent forest communities of this kind could be organized 
also in connection with operations on national forest areas in the 
Southern Appalachian Mountains. There are 15 areas in these moun- 
tains within which land is being acquired by the Government, and 
up to June 30, 1918, about 1,215,000 acres had been purchased, or 
approved for purchase, under the Weeks law. This Southern Appa- 
lachian region is strategic in the future industrial development of the 
whole South ; it is going to be the chief seat of the future hardwood 
supply for the United States, as well as the key to the control of 
water and power. 

The many streams crossing the Southern Coastal Plain, together 
with the Ohio and lower Mississippi Kivers, will probably require, 

for their eventual effective control, a series of reservoirs in the South- ' 



ern Appalachians. The main uses for these streams are those of 
navigation and water power. To conserve the water for these all- 
important purposes, and with a view to preventing the floods that 
continually ravage these valleys, the sites for 136 storage reservoirs 
in the Ohio River and Southern Atlantic watersheds have been lo- 
cated by the United States Geological Survey and the Pittsburgh 
Flood Commission. To prevent " silting up " these reservoirs, when 
constructed, it will be necessary that the watersheds draining into 
them be protected by forest cover. Indeed, everything possible is 
required to control the flood wave of any southern river system, and 
the dike, the revetment, and levee downstream are quite as important 
as the storage reservoir and forest cover upstream. The proposition 
for stream control by all these methods, both in the Southern Appa- 
lachians and elsewhere, has been for several years before Congress and 
the purchase of forest areas under the Weeks law is the first step in 
this big program. The extension of this program would open a wide 
field of opportunity for permanent employment on forest lands. 


The forests of the West occur along the ranges of the Mountain 
and Pacific States. Three-fifths of the area of these forests (and 
probably four-fifths of their timber volume) are included in the 
tt Pacific Northwest." The Pacific Northwest comprises the moun- 
tainous portions of the three Pacific States, and of Idaho and Mon- 
tana; it may be subdivided into three main regions — (1) California, 
(2) the "North Coast" (western Oregon and Washington), and (3) 
the " Inland Empire " (eastern Oregon and Washington, Idaho, and 
western Montana). These regions are heavily stocked with conif- 
erous forest — Douglas fir, western hemlock, bull pine, sugar pine, 
etc. — and comprise what has already been referred to as the main 
timber " reservoir " now remaining in the Nation. 

The total volume of timber standing in this reservoir was esti- 
mated a few years ago to be 1,513 billion board feet — or more than 
half the timber stand of the United States. 1 Of this, some 500 bil- 
lions were in national forests and other public reservations, while 
1,013 billions were in private ownership. Although the volume of 
timber in private hands was twice that in public hands the permanent 
timber area on the national forests alone was 50 per cent greater than 
that in private ownership. The average stand per acre in the 
Pacific-Northwest to-day is not far from 19,000 board feet; that in 
the national forests will run about 9,500 ; and that in private owner- 
ship about 32,000. 

1 Report of U. S. Bureau of Corporations on the Lumber Industry, Pt. I, 1913. 
118860°— 19 9 


Washington and Oregon together contained some 937 billion feet, 
or about one-third the entire stand in the United States. The aver- 
age per acre stand for these two States (including both public and 
private forests) runs about 26,000 feet. The per acre stand for Cali- 
fornia averages nearly 23,500, and that for Idaho and Montana to- 
gether averages over 6,500. Of the 1,013 billion feet of privately- 
owned timber in the Pacific-Northwest, 201 billions were held, in 
about equal proportions, by two companies — the Southern Pacific 
Railway and the Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. Eight concerns held a 
third of the timber and 38 held half of it. 

The North Coast forms the predominant forest region of the West, 
much as the Northeastern States do for the East ; but the two regions 
have some marked contrasts. The Northeast, with nearly three-tenths 
of the Nation's population, has the advantage of a varied lumber 
market, but has the handicap of a run down forest. Less than 5 
per cent of this forest is in public hands. The North Pacific coast, 
with a little more than 2 per cent of the population, has nearly a 
third of the Nation's standing timber. About half the forest lands 
(and a quarter of the stand) are in national forests or other reserva- 
tions. The installed capacity of the sawmills of the United States 
is about 160 per cent in excess of the yearly cut: l In the Northeast 
the capacity is more than five times the cut; on the North Coast it is 
nearly twice the cut. The Northeast has two acres per capita of 
permanent forest land while the North Coast has fifteen. 

Methods applicable in developing the forest industry in the North 
Coast region, as a source of permanent employment and community 
life, are illustrated concretely in this section by an assumed project 
for operating, on a timber culture basis, a typical tract of mountain 
forest land. Development of this kind requires that the Federal 
Government take further initiative in conducting timber operations 
on the national forests. 

(a) Possibilities of Government initiative in developing national 

There seems to be good reason why the Government might take the 
initiative, to an increasing degree, in devolping its own forests. 
Working plans for many working units within the national forests 
could probably be put into effect through the regular timber sale 
contracts under which the timber and wood on these forests are 
now being cut. Terms could be inserted in these contracts requiring 
the purchaser of timber to operate it under specified conditions. 
Thus he might be required to make a series of cuttings within definite 
periods and locations as prescribed by a working plan; to pay a cer- 
tain scale of wages; to maintain given standards of labor; and to 

111 Some Public and Economic Aspects of the Lumber Industry," by W. B. Greeley, 
Beport No. 114, U. S. Department of Agriculture, p. 7. 


provide for community development. But in any case in which it 
was found to be impracticable to carry out a working plan by means 
of a timber sale contract, the timber operations might be carried on 
by the Government itself. 

The Federal Government during the war was beginning to take an 

active part in timber operations. A regiment of lumberjacks on the 

North Pacific coast, under Col. Disque, was getting out Sitka spruce 

for airplane stock. In addition, there were some 12,000 lumberjacks 

in the Tenth and Twentieth Forest Regiments in France. These men, 

and many others among the soldiers and war workers, might well be 

desirous of continuing at work of this kind if conducted upon a proper 

basis; and the equipment and operation of certain forest-working 

units might be carried on by a public-construction service including 

men from those regiments. 

At present, however, under general practice on the national forests 
the tendency is for the lumber company, rather than the Government, 
to take the initiative in forest development. In the patchwork of 
pnblic and private holdings which is characteristic of many areas 
within the national- forest boundaries, some lumber company has per- 
haps a group of sections, quarter sections, etc., which it desires to 
operate. It backs a sawmill up against this part of the forest and 
mates its own plans for cutting off its own patches of timberland. 
It then negotiates a sale for timber on the Government holdings which 
are mixed in with its own. The company also may buy public stump- 
age independently from its own land. So far, therefore, as the actual 
timber operation is concerned, the cutting is in most cases done 
where it is to the best economic advantage of the timber company, 
and not in accordance with any working plan that may be prepared 
by the Government for the development of the forest. Unless, then, 
the Government conducts its own operations, it must either leave the 
forest undeveloped, or else sell the timber to some company that can 
advantageously cut it. 

A number of reasons may be mentioned why the Government has 
not undertaken the operation of its own timber. One of these is 
that most of the national forest timber is not as accessible as that 
in private ownership. Some of it, however, is quite accessible, or 
will become so within the next few years; but in such cases over- 
development of the lumber industry (and hence wasteful competi- 
tion) discourages Government operation. Perhaps the most potent 
reason is the lack of an assured steady market. However this may 
have been in the past there seem now to be many chances for develop- 
ing local demands for wood. The lumber companies, since they 
operate on a huge scale and upon a timber-mining basis, tend to seek 
the big national and overseas markets rather than the smaller local 
markets. The local wood consuming industries, therefore, often 
suffer from the lack of a steady source of supply. Thus some of the 


cooperative fruit-growing concerns of the West, although in the 
immediate vicinity of national forests, have difficulty in securing at 
reasonable prices an adequate supply of box material for packing 
their produce. The Forest Service is seeking to remedy this con- 
dition, and already on certain of the national forests, in Idaho and 
elsewhere, the cuttings are so arranged as to permanently maintain 
the local sawmill and other wood-using industries. This in turn is 
working toward the maintenance of permanent, stabilized forest 

The recent apprehension as to a shortage in the pulp and paper 
supply points out a vital national need that might be met in part 
by the national forests. A large quantity of pulpwood is available 
on these forests, and this, it would seem, should be used, as far as 
possible, rather than to depend upon Canadian or overseas sources 
for our newsprint. 

The policy of further Government initiative in handling its own 
timber need not, of course, be applied all at once upon the total 
area of public timberland. A beginning here and there, as already 
being made on several of the forests, can pave the way for such de- 
velopment. The extension of this policy would seem to open a big 
field of opportunity, to returned soldiers and other workers, for em- 
ployment which would be profitable to them and of service to the 

(b) The Cascade-Puget Sound area. 

The timberland portions of the North Coast region consist largely 
of the western slopes of the Cascade Mountain range in Washington 
and Oregon. As a typical sample of this territory and one repre- 
sentative of the timberland problem therein contained, a certain 
area of land in northwestern Washington has been selected for 
study. This will be designated herein as the " Cascade-Puget Sound 
area," and is shown on map 9 (facing p. 134). 

This area consists of a belt of land extending east and west from 
the Cascade divide to tidewater on Puget Sound; it is in effect a 
"cross section" of all typical conditions — physical, economic, and 
legal — to be found between the mountain summit and the ocean 
harbor in this northwestern corner of the country. The area covers 
part of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, including 1,027,885 acres; 
its length, east and west, is approximately 70 miles and its breadth, 
north and south, averages 23 miles. 

The Cascade-Puget Sound area includes all land within the drain- 
age systems of the Stilaguamish River and all of the streams 
entering Puget Sound between the delta of the Skagit River on the 
north and the mouth of the Snohomish River on the south ; it includes 
also the drainage system of the Sauk River, a tributary of the Skagit 
entering from the south. (See map 9.) The elevation of the Cascade 


divide, on the east, runs from about 5,000 to 8,850 feet ; that of Glacier 
Peak, the highest summit, is 10,436 feet. The drainage from the main 
divide is through the Sauk Kiver (and its chief branch the Suiattle) 
westward and then northward into the Skagit. . The drainage of the 
Sauk and of the North Fork of the Stilaguamish Eiver are separated 
near the town of Darrington by a low divide across a very level plain. 
It is possible that the upper part of the Sauk and the North Fork, in 
former geologic times, constituted a single stream. But whether or not 
a continuous stream ever in fact flowed thus from Glacier Peak through 
the North Fork into the Stilaguamish River, this line is marked to- 
day by a continuous valley traversing the full length of the area. 

Two fairly distinct zones are crossed by the Cascade-Puget Sound 
area — a lowland zone on the west and a mov/ntain zone on the east. 
The larger portion (85 per cent) of the area is in the mountain 
zone, 15 per cent being in the lowland. About one-fourth of the low- 
land zone consists of flat bottom land along the lower courses of the 
present (or former) rivers, and this alluvial soil forms the choicest 
of the farming land. The remainder of the lowland zone consists of 
rolling topography, irregular in form but for the most part of mod- 
erate slope. The soil is largely of glacial origin, so the fertile por- 
tions tend to lie in patches, and good agricultural land is mixed ir- 
regularly with land whose highest use is for forest purposes. The 
mountain zone consists largely of barren, rocky crests or of high steep 
Blopes supporting a meager and, unmerchantable growth of timber. 
But a belt of merchantable timber lies on the slopes along each of the 
main streams, the growth consisting of large-size Douglas fir, hem- 
lock, cedar, and other conifers. Lowland belts formed largely of 
agricultural land extend into the mountain zone along certain of the 
main valleys. 

A large portion of the lowland zone (on the west side of the 
area) is under cultivation; dairy farming is a thriving industry and 
a number of good-sized towns have grown up. The lowland zone 
extends along the full length of Puget Sound and is typical of the 
settled agricultural territory bordering the main waterways of the 
.North Pacific coast. Most of the mountain zone, on the other hand, 
consists of wild lands, the main industry here — so far as it has de- 
veloped — being lumbering. Some of the mountain valleys in the 
Cascade-Puget Sound area have had sporadic mining booms, but 
the locality is now considered as containing only meager quantities 
of mineral wealth. The mountain zone in this area (aside from 
its absence of minerals) is typical of the whole flank of the Cascade 
Range throughout both Washington and Oregon. % 

Land in the lowland zone is useful, for the most part, for farming 
purposes ; but most of the productive land in the mountain zone is 
chiefly useful for forest purposes. There are, however, extensive 


portions of the lowland zone (much of the "logged-off country") 
which are not sufficiently fertile for profitable farming, and should 
be reforested. On the other hand there are a number of thousand 
acres in the low valleys of the mountain zone which are fertile and 
level enough for profitable farming, most of these occurring within 
the lowland belts shown on map 9. A meager agricultural settlement 
has grown up in these belts, especially along the valley of the North 
Fork of the Stilaguamish River. The settlement here is the direct 
result of the opening of the valley by the railroad, a branch of the 
Northern Pacific that extends between the present towns of Arlington 
and Darrington. This road was built to tap the timber of the valley, 
and several thousand acres of heavy growth have already been cut 
off bordering the main streams. The placing on a stabilized basis of 
the future forest development of the valleys and slopes here described 
would aid in the permanent employment and settlement, not only of 
the people engaged in the forest industry, but of those engaged in 
farming as well. 

(c) Division of forest land into " working units." 

What foresters mean by the " working circle," or the " working 
unit," has been explained in section 9 (6) — it is the area within 
whose radius an annual cut of timber is continuously maintained. It 
is therefore the area within which a forest community can be con- 
tinuously maintained. A primal question, then, in the management 
of forest land for settlement purposes, is that of laying out the'work- 
ing units. This problem is illustrated, in the case of the Cascade- 
Puget Sound area, on map 10 (facing p. 136). 

The "mountain zone," or permanent forest portion of the area 
covers 878,000 acres. This extensive acreage occurs throughout sev- 
eral somewhat independent mountain valleys. It would be unwise, 
therefore, to treat this whole territory as a single working unit. As 
already explained in section 9 (&) the working unit should be of such 
size as to require the fewest possible relocations of the logging com- 
munity during the rotation. In accordance with this principle, the 
mountain or forest zone is here divided into four working units. 
These, as shown on map 10, are delimited as follows: 

(1) Stilagumnish unit, including the drainage system of Pilchuck, 
Deer, and Jim Creeks, and of the lower half of North Fork. 

(2) South Fork unit, including the drainage systems of South 
Fork (inside the mountain zone) and of one of the headwater 
branches of the Sauk River in the vicinity of Monte Cristo. This 
includes all Ifind and timber tributary to the Monte Cristo branch of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad above Granite Falls. 

(3) Darrington unit, including the drainage systems of the upper 
North Fork and of the upper Sauk (except that of the headwater 
branch at Monte Cristo). 

Map 9,— THE CASC-Al ope from ^ e divide to tidewater. 
118860 — 19 (To face page 11 


(4) SuiattU vm,it) including the drainage systems of the Suiattle 
River and of the lower course of the Sauk Eiver. 

In all of these units there occur portions of the lowland belts, so 
that agriculture would form a secondary industry in each unit. 

(d) Working units and national forests. 

Map 11 (facing p. 138) shows the territory within the Cascade- 
Puget Sound area which is included in national forests. This terri- 
tory (shaded on the map) covers nearly two- thirds of the whole area 
and about three-fourths of the mountain (or forest) zone. Two na- 
tional forests are here represented — the Washington and the Sno- 

The relation of the working units to the national forests is thus 

Aown very distinctly. Only a small portion (22 per cent) of the 

Stilaguamish unit is within national forest boundaries — this portion 

being on the headwaters of Deer Creek in the Washington forest. 

The Darrington unit, on the other hand, is almost wholly (i. e., 90 

per cent) within national forest boundaries, the remaining 10 per 

cent being included in the lowland belt along the North Fork and 

the Sauk River. Seventy-five per cent of the South Fork working 

unit is in the Snoqualmie National Forest and 83 per cent of the 

Suiattle unit is in the Washington Forest. 

Not all of the land within national forest boundaries is owned by 
the United States Government. There is usually a belt of land along 
each of the main streams in each forest which has gone into private 
hands through the homestead, timber and stone, or other laws. These 
lands often contain some of the best timber in the forests. Scattered 
sections of State lands also occur through the forests. In the Rocky 
Mountain and Pacific States the alienated lands of these various 
kinds occupy about one-eighth (12.3 per cent) of the area within 
national forest boundaries. The percentage of this alienated national 
forest land is highest (21.7 per cent) in California, and is lowest 
(3.6 per cent) in Wyoming. In Washington it is 14.5 per cent and 
in Oregon 15 per cent. 

Some of the main features of land ownership, as exhibited on the 
Cascade-Puget Sound area, are shown on map 12 (facing p. 140) . The 
portions of the area which have been surveyed by the United States 
Land Office are indicated by the township and section lines. These 
portions cover more than half of the whole area. Most of the land 
on the western third of the area is privately owned. Within the 
national forest boundaries most of the land is unsurveyed, and, with 
the exception of some mining claims and " forest homestead " entries, 
this unsurveyed land belongs to the Government. No railroad grants 
occur on the area. The State of Washington owns many pieces scat- 
tered throughout the surveyed portions; these pieces consist chiefly 
of "school lands," sections 16 and 36. Many of the school lands 


have been sold by the State and are now in private ownership. In 
each of the working units, therefore, the bulk of the land outside of 
the national forest boundaries is privately owned* 

(e) The Darrington working unit. 

The Darrington working unit will here be used to illustrate the 
problems of forest settlement on the North Pacific coast. No special 
survey has* been made nor has any working unit been actually estab- 
lished. Such descriptions as are made apply to the more general 
features, and the figures given are only approximate. No plans are 
contemplated by the Government as to the actual development of 
this unit. 

The Darrington unit is indicated separately on map 13 (facing p. 
142) . It has a total area of over 310,000 acres. Of this, nearly 200,000 
acres consist of barren mountain summits, ice caps, and alpine tim- 
berland. The latter supports a timber growth for the most part 
unreachable and unmerchantable, which, however, must be protected 
from fire along with the productive forest of the lower altitudes. 
This whole area above the productive timber line may be called the 
"alpine or protection belt." The lowland belt, as already stated, 
enters the Darrington unit along the valley made by the North Fork 
and the Sauk River, and that part of the belt within the unit covers 
20,255 acres. Between the lowland and alpine belts there occurs the 
productive forest area which occupies the remainder of the working 
unit, or 92,600 acres. Portions of this area have been burned over, 
a few portions have been logged off, but most of it is covered by 
virgin forest whose meager growth is about offset by decay. 

That pdrtion of the Darrington working unit occupied by the low- 
land belt (or the Darrington Valley) is practically all outside of the 
national- forest boundariea It is shown on map 12 in heavy shading. 
This area includes the bulk of the potential agricultural lands within 
the unit. Many of these lands are still covered by heavy timber; 
others are logged off but are still in stumps; only a few hundred acres 
have been actually cultivated. This area, therefore, should be seg- 
regated from the forest working unit proper and established as an 
agricultural settlement district. The handling of this district will be 
considered below — in heading (h) of this section. 

Alienated lands in the Darrington working unit (both within and 
outside of national forest boundaries) are shown on map 12 in me- 
dium shading. Most of these are privately owned and lie along the 
upper Sauk River and* around the edges of the segregated settlement 
district just described. A few sections of State land occur also here 
and there. At the extreme north end of the unit there occurs a small 
piece of United States public land, which was not included in the 
lands reserved for national forest purposes. The total area of these 
alienated and unreserved lands is about 19,500 acres, or 21 per cent 

IUp lft*— DIVISION INTO FORE9 maintaining a perman ent forest community. 
118860—19. (To face 


of the 92,600 acres which form the productive • forest area of the 
working unit. 

In case the Darrington working unit were to be actually estab- 
lished the first task would be to get under consolidated control by the 
Federal Government all of the lands within such unit. It has long 
been suggested that the Government should purchase the private for- 
est lands within and adjacent to the exterior boundaries of the na* 
tional forests, or else that some form of cooperation should be secured 
between the Government and the private owners on a basis satisfac- 
tory to both. As already stated a cooperative arrangement might be 
made with the owners whereby they would receive each year a part of 
the net returns from the operation of the whole working unit, such 
part being in proportion to the amount of the timber owned by them 
as compared with the total amount of timber on the unit. 

The few State lands included in the Darrington working unit 
could be exchanged for land of equal area and value outside the na- 
tional forests. The establishment of State forest land in large solid 
blocks in lieu of the school lands (sees. 16 and 36) scattered 
through the different national forests, has already been undertaken 
for the whole State of Washington, as well as for other western 
States. The few sections of unreserved public land (at the extreme 
north end of the unit) could not at present be included in a national 
forest by presidential proclamation, but could be included by act 
of Congress. 

The methods here outlined for consolidating the control of forest 
land on the Darrington unit would apply also to the other working 
units described. On the Darrington and Suiattle units, and possibly 
on the South Fork, the plan of outright purchase of intervening pri- 
vate lands might be feasible. On a unit like the Stilaguamish, 
however, where more than half of the area is in private holdings, 
the alternative method above mentioned, that of cooperative control, 
might be the more practicable. 

Speaking on the subject of cooperation between the public and 
private timberland owners, Col. Graves says: 1 

It is possible that where public and private lands are intermingled and 
economically interrelated, as in the west, a still more far-reaching principle 
may be desirable; one that would coordinate all forest lands within economic 
groups so that they can be developed in a way best to meet the needs of the 
country and the communities. It has already been found necessary to coor- 
dinate and handle jointly all forest lands, regardless of ownership, with respect 
to protection f rom forest fires. * * * At the present time the mixed char- 
acter of ownership tends to prevent an orderly development that builds up and 
sustains communities. 

But whatever legal methods may be worked out, the policy here 
suggested is the very necessary one of integrating conflicting inter- 
ests in the management of national resources. Though this policy 

1 Address before the American Lumber Congress, Chicago, Apr. 16, 1019. 


has long been advocated, the ideas which have been most loudly 
voiced, with respect to the national forests, embody the very opposite 
policy. Strong pressure seems ever to be working within Congress 
and outside to have the forests " thrown open to entry " so that they 
will be divided into private holdings. Clever means and plausible 
excuses are devised for honeycombing still further the Nation's prop- 
erty in these forests. This policy is not only propounded but is being 
insidiously applied. It is a policy not of integration but of disin- 

(f ) A survey and plan for each working unit. 

After a forest working unit has been located and tentative ar- 
rangements made for bringing it under consolidated control, a de- 
tailed working plan, based upon an adequate survey, should be made 
for the unit's development. 

The survey referred to should apply both to the forest unit itself 
with its supply of timber, and also to the possibilities of marketing 
the timber products therefrom. The chief classes of data to be ob- 
tained in an adequate forest survey of this kind are the following: 

1. The location, acreage, topography, and general physical char- 
acter of the working unit. 

2. The stand of timber (M feet b. m.) and of wood (cords), and 
the quality and condition thereof, on the various parts of the work- 
ing unit. 

3. The distribution of forest age classes, with estimate of the actual 
annual growth in each. 

4. The presumable potential growth per acre per annum of timber 
and wood on the various soils and slopes. 

5. The degree of fertility of soils on the bottom lands which might 
have agricultural possibilities, and which should be tentatively segre- 
gated for the purpose of making an intensive agricultural survey. 

6. The possibilities of securing a steady market for the timber and 
forest products of each working unit, with special reference to domes- 
tip and local consumption of such products, to the demand for pulp 
and paper, and to the possibilities of utilizing as a market the needs 
for timber of the United States Government. 

7. The average wages paid in local timber operations and in other 
local occupations, and the average cost of living applicable to the 

8. The possibilities of logging and operating the working unit, 
with the costs involved ; and the yearly return to be expected from the 
sale of (a) standing timber, (b) logs at the sawmill, and (c) lumber 
and other manufactured forest products ready for shipment. 

9. The ownership of the various lots and holdings within the 
working unit, and the amount and value of the standing timber on 

Map 11,— WORKING 1 3 t all of these consisting of United 

irth unit. 
118800—19 (To face page l4 


Upon the basis of data of the classes here indicated, a working plan, 
including a market plan, can be made for equipping and operating 
each forest unit. This plan should, of course, provide for the appli- 
cation of the principles discussed in section 9 — of continuous timber 
yield, of permanent employment, and stability of community life. 
The main points to be covered in such a plan include the following: 

1. Recommendation of permanent boundaries of the forest work- 
ing unit to be finally established. Suggested procedure for obtain- 
ing control of the lands within such boundaries — including the reser- 
vation or setting aside of Federal lands for the particular purpose, 
the exchange of State lands, and the purchase or cooperative control 
of private holdings. Statement of values and costs involved. 

2. Recommendation as to the segregation of agricultural lands 
which might be formed into a " settlement district." 

3. Suggested procedure in establishing a market for the annual 
output of timber and wood expected from the unit, including details 
as to sales to be made to the War and Navy Departments, the Rail- 
road Administration, and other branches of the United States Gov- 
ernment, to local municipalities, to local wood users for domestic 
purposes, to the pulp and paper industry, to local wood-using indus- 
tries, and to consumers generally. Statement of costs and returns 
to be expected. 

4. Statement of annual output of lumber and other products which 
can be supplied and marketed from the working unit or tract from 
year to year. 

5. Location of, and specifications for, all plant and equipment 
necessary for cutting and delivering the annual output, including 
sawmills, logging railroads, stream improvements, landings, etc., 
together with the necessary rolling stock, machinery, and supplies; 
estimate of costs. 

6. Location of, and specifications for, the sawmill and logging com- 
munities to be immediately established. 

7. General program of cuttings and operations suggested for the 
first rotation (or forest generation), together with the several loca- 
tions of the logging units. 

8. Specific program of cuttings and operations suggested for the 
first 10 years. 

9. Location of, and specifications for, the cuttings and operations 
to be conducted, in conformity with the programs just mentioned, 
during the first year. 

10. Recommendation as to wage scales to be offered for the various 
kinds of work. 

11. Statement of the number of workers and families provided 
for in the project. 


12. Itemized statement of yearly costs and returns, and provision 
made for payment to the State, in lieu of local taxes, of a fair 
proportion of net receipts. * 

The survey and working plan when once formulated for the 
forest unit along the lines suggested should be submitted for ap- 
proval to the proper authorities, and upon approval thereby steps 
should be taken accordingly to put the plan into effect. 

(g) Development of the working unit illustrated in the Darrington 

It is here assumed that the Darrington working unit has been 
established within the boundaries which have been indicated on the 
several maps, and that all alienated lands have been obtained by the 
Government so that the latter holds full control over the whole area. 
That portion designated as "Darrington Valley" is considered as 
being segregated for purposes of agricultural settlement. It will be 
assumed also that an adequate market has been found for the total 
annual timber yield of the tract. 

The development of the Darrington working unit is concerned 
principally with the productive forest belt described above in head- 
ing (e). The protection forests of the "alpine belt," on the upper 
mountain slopes, must be preserved against fire ; and the farming land 
in the " lowland belt " (or Darrington Valley) will be handled on its 
own account. The productive forest belt is shown on map 13 (facing 
p. 142) , being indicated by the several grades of shading. As already 
stated, this belt covers 92,600 acres. It can be operated by a system 
of logging railroads over which the logs could be hauled to a central 
point and sawed into lumber. 

The most convenient point for this purpose would probably be the 
present site of. the village of Darrington, on the Sauk River, at the 
eastern end of " Darrington Valley." Pondage facilities for the stor- 
age of logs and ample area for. a lumber yard could be made available 
on the south side of this village. From this point the lumber could 
be shipped out on the Darrington branch of the Northern Pacific. 
Darrington, then, would be the central headquarters for the whole 
tract, being the site of the sawmill and the community supported 
thereby. By handling the working unit on a sustained yield basis the 
sawmill community could remain on the one site indefinitely. 

The logging community would have to be relocated several times 
during the rotation, as the headquarters of the logging operation had 
to be moved from one part of the tract to another. From each head- 
quarters there would be a limiting radius within which daily trips 
could be made by the workers while the intervening area was being 
cut over. The timber area which could thus be reached from a single 
headquarters is here referred to as a " cutting block." 

M«p 12,— SOf "alienated") and of other lands 
118860—19 (To face 




To operate the full area of the productive forest belt on the Dar- 
rington unit it is estimated that it would have to be divided into six 
cutting blocks. These are shown on map 13 by the distinctive 
shadings. Each block is there named and the headquarters indi- 
cated. A plot one mile long, running lengthwise of the valley, is 
allowed at each headquarters as the location of the logging com- 
munity. Each worker and his family could then have a separate 
house and the use of sufficient land to make a garden. The com- 
munity at all times should be organized along the lines already dis- 
cussed in section 9 (c) . The same holds true, of course, for the saw- 
mill community at Darrington. 

Logging railroads from the sawmill at Darrington to the various 
cutting blocks could be built. The average rail haul for the whole 
tract would be about 10 miles, the maximum haul 30 miles. As each 
section of railroad is built a permanent grade should be made, and 
permanent bridges; but the steel could be removed after a valley 
been worked over, and used for the next logging unit. The rail- 
road grades, when not occupied by trackage, might be used for auto- 
mobile roads. The whole tract at all times should, of course, be well 
protected from fire, and so all possible facilities should be afforded 
for rapid transportation. 

The first cutting block to be operated would be the Darrington, 
^ith headquarters at the village of the same name. During the period 
in which this block was being cut over the logging community would 
have the same location as the sawmill community and could for the 
toe be merged therewith. From this location logging railroads up 
the various valleys would be laid out, and by means of the transporta- 
tion thus provided it would be possible for the men each day to reach 
and work any part of the Darrington cutting block. The average 
working distance would be about 6 miles and the maximum distance 
11 miles. 

The approximate working distances (average and maximum) from 
4e headquarters of each block, together with the acreage of each 
Mock, are as follows : 

Jfwth Mountain. 









. 26,285 



In cutting over these blocks the logging community would I 
to be relocated, of course, several times. Some 10 or 15 yk 
would be needed to work over the whole of the Darrington cut| 
block and get out the mature timber thereon. After this period 
logging community would move to the Upper Sauk block and re 
for several years. The next move would probably be to the 
Mountain block, then to the Whitechuck block, and then to the N 
Mountain and Fortson blocks. The two last would doubtl 
worked simultaneously, about half of the total yearly cut com: 
from one and half from the other. During this period, theref 
the workers would be separated into two communities, one of thd 
having headquarters at the village of Fortson in the Darringti 
Valley, and the other on the upper North Fork as shown on the mas 

Altogether, ^therefore, five different locations of the logging com 
munity would be required in order to cut over the whole working 
unit. It is likely that this first cutting, being limited to the removal 
of the mature and merchantable stuff, would take about 50 years; H 
so the average period spent by the logging community on each cut* 
ting block would be 10 years. When the whole of the working unit 
had been cut over — at the end of the 50 years — the young growth left 
in the first cutting would be mature and a second series of cuttings 
could be started. 

(h) Agricultural settlement within the forest working unit. 

Agricultural settlement within national forests is at present carried 
on under the homestead system, and with most of the drawbacks oi 
that system. The " Forest Homestead Act " of June 11, 1906, pro- 
vides that areas of land found by examination to be presumably best 

suited for agricultural purposes shall be " listed for entry " — that is, 
offered for disposal under the regular homesteading terms applying 

on lands outside the national forests. Under this law many farms 

have been taken up along the valleys and the " shoe string meadows" 

within the forests. 

Considerable dissatisfaction has resulted from this system. The 
farms taken are isolated from one another and the settler must 
usually clear his land of stumps and build his farm under the typical 
single-handed methods of the pioneer of 50 years ago. Although in 
many cases, where conditions have happened to be favorable, satis- 
factory homes have been located on the "June 11 claims," they are too 
often the cause of friction between prospective settlers and adminis- 
trative officers. With the agricultural lands inside the national for- 
ests, as with those outside, the homesteading system with its perverted 
individualism should be replaced by colonization. 

Methods for doing this are illustrated in the Darrington Valley, the 
segregation of which as an agricultural settlement district has already 


been referred to (p. 136). Agricultural districts equivalent to this 
might be segregated in the lowland belts within each of the other 
working units shown on the Cascade-Puget Sound area. Indeed agri- 
cultural settlement and forest settlement would normally proceed 
side by side, under a rational system of land settlement, in any west- 
ern mountain region like the one here represented. 

The proposed Darrington agricultural settlement district is shown 
separately on map 14 (facing p. 144) , covering an area of 20,255 acres 
along the North Fork and the Sauk Rivers. It is traversed, as already 
stated, by the Darrington Branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad. 
The timber on more than two-thirds of this area has been cut off and 
the logs hauled out on the railroad to sawmills on Puget Sound or in 
the immediate valley. The rest of the area still supports a heavy 
stand of Douglas fir, western hemlock, cedar, and other woods. About 
340 acres of the logged-off land have already been turned into culti- 
vated land, much of which has been settled for many years. This IsLnd 
is now divided between 55 families, the average " farm " thus having 
six acres. The agricultural population is approximately 135, or be- 
tween two and three to the average family. OnS lone bachelor in a 
log cabin often constitutes a "family." Many of the settlers are 
married, however, and most of them work for a portion of the year 
on some logging operations in the neighborhood. 

The distribution of the timbered, the logged-off, and the actual 
cultivated land is shown on map 14. Several logging companies are 
at work cutting off the timber. The general locations of these opera- 
tions are indicated by the logging spurs leading off the Northern 
Pacific track. Sawmills are located at Darrington and Fortson; at 
each of these places there is also a shingle mill, and one is located at 
Hazel. Most of the timber is mature or overmature and at the 
present rate of cutting will last 15 or 20 years. About 4 per cent of 
the district's area consists of cultivated land, and of land within vil- 
lage limits ; about 33 per cent is timbered land, and 63 per cent logged 

The land within the Darrington district is divided among quite a 
number of owners. All but 1,500 acres of the land is privately owned, 
960 acres belonging to the State and 540 acres to the Federal Gov- 
ernment. Thei owners have been classified into three groups. The 
first group consists of the Federal Government (with 540 acres), the 
State (with 960 acres) and one big timber company (with about 
3,500 acres). Hence this group of holders owns 5,000 acres or about 
one-fourth of the total area of the district. Another quarter of the 
area is owned by six holders, including timber and land companies. 
The remaining land (nearly half the total area) is owned by 75 
holders, mostly individuals having lots from 40 to 160 acres. The lo- 


cation of the land held by owners within each group is shown on 
map 15. 

The procedure in the survey and development of the Darrington 
settlement district would be similar to that already described in sec- 
tion 15 in connection with agricultural settlement in Canada. Dif- 
ferent physical problems would of course be met — especially with 
respect to the stumps which would have to be blown out or otherwise 
extracted from the land. 

One of the first big tasks, in the case of the Darrington district, 
would be to determine the land which, in view of its inherent fer- 
tility, its location, and the cost involved in clearing it of stumps, 
would make profitable agricultural land in accordance with the prin- 
ciples discussed in Chapter II. The remaining area would mate 
good land for growing timber. Most of the potential farming areas 
would be on the bottomland immediately along the main river 
courses, as well as on some of the " first bench " land. Probably most 
of the " second bench " land — and that around the edges of the dis- 
trict — would be potentially more valuable for forestry. 

At least half of the district's area would probably be found to be 
chiefly useful for forest purposes; part of this would be land now 
timbered and part land at present logged-off. All of it of course 
should, sooner or later, be reforested. Thus a strip around the edges 
of the district might eventually be transferred to the status of the 
adjoining national forest land and added to the forest working unit 
above described. Supposing half of the Darrington district to be so 
transferred, the productive timber acreage of the Darrington forest 
unit would be increased from 92,600 to about 103,000 ; and the final 
area of the Darrington agricultural district would be reduced from 
20,255 acres to a narrow strip covering about 10,000 acres. 

Projects of these two kinds in the Darrington locality — one for 
forest settlement and the other for agricultural settlement— could be 
repeated in any number of western mountain valleys. Each of such 
projects should, as far as possible, be carefully worked out in close 
cooperation with the other. Many of the workers in a permanent 
sawmill at Darrington might be able to live on small farms or 
" two-acre homesteads " in Darrington Valley and make part of their j 
livelihood thereon. On the other hand, a certain amount of winter 
employment might be provided for the settlers by means of the miy 
ing operations at Darrington and the logging operations on ft 
working unit. In this way forestry and agriculture in a given local 
ity would be made to supplement each other, and a series of join 
projects could be developed which would offer opportunities for comj 
bined employment in these great land industries. I 


H*p Ur— A FOSBIB^he locality ; the balk ot these lands 


3 2044 051 101 657 



Harvard College Widener Library 
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